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Family sues over death in custody

Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Daily Herald
by Rob Olmstead

The family of a man arrested in South suburban Worth last year is suing the Cook County sheriff after the man died in custody.
Thomas Hunt was arrested on a DuPage County warrant on Oct. 22, 2006, and turned over to the jail at 26th and California after a court hearing at the Bridgeview branch courthouse.
According to the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, deputies took him to the jail hospital after he suffered a seizure about 6:35 p.m. that night. He was later transferred to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead at 8:20 p.m.
The Cook County medical examiner ruled the death natural -- "intracerebral hemorrhage due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease," the suit said.
However, the report also noted 13 bruises on Hunt's chest, lips, arms, back, groin and face, the suit said. Additionally, a CT scan taken of Hunt at Stroger Hospital showed he had suffered from blunt trauma to the head.
"Prior to being at … Cook County jail, Thomas Hunt … had been to a bond hearing … and was able to respond to questions while he was being processed and had no visible signs of injury," the suit claims.
It seeks unspecified damages, claiming violation of Hunt's civil liberties.
A spokesman for the Cook County jail could not be reached late Tuesday.


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