By Suzanne Le Mignot

(CBS) — More than half a million dollars — that’s the amount awarded to a man accidently locked in a cell for 32 hours at Cook County Jail.

CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

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Farad Polk says he tried his best to get guards to notice him behind a heavy steel door.

“I see the camera up there, so I figure I get into a little trouble, I start waving my hand, kicking on the door, making noise,” he says.

The concrete cell concealed his cries. The cameras didn’t work. Polk was accidentally locked in an 8-foot-by-8-foot cell at Cook County Jail, a year and a half ago, for 32 hours.

“They just sent me down the hall by myself and told me to go into the room,” he says.

When the door shut, he couldn’t get out, he says.

Polk had gone to visit his son. That never happened. Polk later learned, guards thought he left, even though he never checked out. He finally broke a fire sprinkler and flooded the cell.

The fire department arrived and got him out.

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The Cook County Sheriff’s Department said it regrets the incident occurred.

“As we said at the time of this very unfortunate incident, we are so very grateful Mr. Polk was found safely. We are pleased that this matter has been resolved,” a spokesperson says.

Polk says he talked with CBS 2 in hopes jailers will ensure something like that never happens again.

“You’ve got to make sure when you are running an entity like a jail that it’s safe, not just for the people that are in that jail, but for the people who are coming to visit,” Polk attorney Cannon Lambert Sr. says.





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Suzanne Le Mignot