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County jail inmate sues, claims guards beat him

Updated: January 2, 2013 11:09PM



A Will County jail inmate says he fears for his life after sheriff’s deputies allegedly gave him two beatings over the past year, one that landed him in the medical unit for more than two weeks.

William Jenkins, of Harvey, has filed two lawsuits against deputies working in the county jail, accusing them of beating him on two separate occasions.

Jenkins, 29, remains in jail on a burglary charge.

He filed a lawsuit Dec. 21 accusing three deputies of beating him on Oct. 17 while Jenkins and other inmates in his pod were on lockdown.

The lawsuit names deputies Michael Zolecki, Derek Coppes and Morton Sovich, and accuses them of using excessive force.

“The injuries were significant because he was in the medical unit for so long,” said Jenkins’ attorney, John Schrock. “Mr. Jenkins had filed grievances with the sheriff. He’s in serious fear of his life while he’s in the Will County Adult Detention Facility.”

The four grievances Jenkins filed were denied, the lawsuit states.

Schrock and Jenkins believe the October incident was retaliation for a lawsuit Jenkins filed last summer alleging three deputies beat him during a group strip search in a shower stall.

In that incident, allegedly on April 22, Jenkins accuses deputies Jared Brooks, Christopher Wilhelmi and Andre Carter of slamming Jenkins’ head against the shower stall wall, pushing and punching him, then stunning him with a Taser.

All of the deputies named in the suits are members of the jail’s Emergency Response Team.

The Will County state’s attorney’s office, which represents the sheriff’s department in the lawsuits, responded to the first lawsuit saying the complaint should be dismissed because police are allowed to use force in certain situations.

A spokesman for the sheriff’s department could not be reached for comment Wednesday.



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