Woman sues over forcible strip search during DUI arrest - KMSP-TV

Woman sues over forcible strip search during DUI arrest

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A Coal City woman forcibly strip searched in a county jail is now going after the deputies responsible.

The incident happened at the LaSalle County Jail after the woman was arrested for driving under the influence.

On Tuesday, she filed a civil rights lawsuit and her attorney is also calling for a criminal investigation.

The LaSalle County Sheriff tells FOX 32 News that he has not seen or been served with the lawsuit and so he could not comment, so despite the video evidence, the deputies remain on duty but in the hot seat.

The video shows three male deputies and one female tossing 33-year-old Dana Holmes into a jail cell and then stripping her completely naked for reasons that have her attorney baffled because it all happened in a cell with a video camera that the deputies must have known was there.

"They had to know that, which tell you they're either incredibly stupid, arrogant, not trained," Holmes' civil attorney Terry Ekll says. "But how in the world do you do something like this, know its being recorded. The arrogance is just baffling to me."

Attorney Terry Ekl said his client admits she was driving under the influence and he had no problem with how the Marseilles Police officers handled the arrest on May 18th.

Holmes failed a field sobriety test which showed her blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

The problems started after Holmes was transferred to the LaSalle County jail to be processed. While there, a female officer, identified as Samantha Kromm frisked Holmes as three male officers stood by. They were identified in the federal civil rights lawsuit as deputies Tyson Szafranski, and Deputies Puckett and Hollenbeck.

During the search something happened which triggered an angry response by the deputies who can be seen forcing Holmes to the ground and then lifting her up and carrying her out of the room.

"For some reason she must have said something to them or done something they didn't like and they decided to exercise their power over her and they decided to do it in this cruel manner of humiliation," Ekl explains.

Ekl said his client was left naked in the cell for about a minute, until deputies finally tossed her in a blanket.

She was lying on the floor, she was crying, she couldn't understand why this was happening to her," Ekl says. "They're in there stripping her naked and at the same time an unlimited number of other deputies had the ability to just view what was going on."

Dana Holmes was not available to talk with FOX 32 News. Her attorney said she is just too upset.

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