CHICAGO - The father of a jail inmate says a visit to the facility left him as a prisoner. He claims he spent more than 30 hours trapped in a concrete room, freed only after he broke a fire sprinkler to get someone's attention.
Now the jail visitor is filing a lawsuit.
Farad Polk was trapped in an 8 feet by 8 feet concrete box for nearly 32 hours. He was a jail visitor who accidentally became imprisoned.
"Sitting there after five minutes, I'm like this 'aint right, this 'aint happening. So as I turned around to buzz out, there 'aint no buzzer. No buzzer, no intercom, just a room," said Polk.
That room, deep inside Division 9 of the Cook County Jail's Special Incarceration Unit, is reserved for the most dangerous inmates. The visiting room has concrete walls, no windows, and a steel door that locked behind Polk seconds after he entered.
The room is used only once a week and was under repair. No one knew he was there.
"The room is basically an 8x8 concrete room with two steel sears or a bench and that's it. No water. No toilet. No nothing. It's a visiting room," said his attorney, Cannon Lambert.
As minutes turned to hours, Polk says his cries for help went unanswered.
"He could hear voices, the guards on the other side of the door. Presumptively, if he could hear them, they could hear him pounding and kicking on the door and no one came to help," said Lambert.
The jail's director admits mistakes were made but says there simply are not enough guards to keep track of everyone.
"In a perfect world we would know every single person that enters the jail, whether they were visitors, inmates, workers and staff, and every single person that's left. That didn't happen that night," said Cara Smith.