750K settlement for man beaten up in jail

Maywood to pay $750,000 over ‘04 attack on arrestee 

By: Brett McNeil          Chicago Tribune 

January 13, 2006 

A 22-year-old man who was allegedly attacked and forced to strip naked inside the Maywood Police Department lockup will receive a $750,000 out-of-court settlement to drop a lawsuit that accuses police of failing to protect the man from another arrestee, his lawyers said Thursday. 

A Maywood official said the settlement was not yet final but confirmed that attorneys for the village and its insurance carrier, Scottsdale Insurance Co., had reached an agreement in principle to settle the case. But Village Manager Robert Nelis Sr. Said late Thursday that he did not know the terms of the deal. 

When made final, the settlement will end a case that began when Maywood police arrested George Caithamer, of west suburban Brookfield, at a traffic stop in June 2004. 

According to his federal civil rights lawsuit, police put Caithamer in a holding cell where he was attacked and forced to strip by a fellow detainee. The lawsuit alleges that despite Caithamer’s cries of help, Maywood police did not come to his aid for an unspecified period of time. 

A lawyer for Caithamer on Thursday that said the attack was captured on video and broadcast within the Maywood police station. Amanda Yarusso, an attorney at the Chicago-based Law Offices of Blake Horwitz, said the attack took place intermittently over at least 20 minutes.  

Yarusso said the assailant first demanded that Caithamer hand over his shoes, then subsequently ordered him to remove clothing until he was nude. The assailant then stuffed Caithamer’s clothes in the lock-up toilet, she said. 

Caithamer was treated for injuries suffered in the attack at Loyola University Medical Center, and the assailant was charged with aggravated battery, according to the lawsuit. Yarusso said the assailant was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and is now institutionalized at an Elgin mental health facility