A young girl was missing, police said, and they suspected she was hiding out at her friend’s home in Carpentersville, Ill. Officers showed up at the 16-year-old boy’s home twice to look for her, each time when his parents weren’t home. On the second visit, the situation escalated into illegal territory, the boy’s attorney says.
Video shows one of the officers opening the door from the outside. “Your door’s open,” one of the officers is heard saying in a home-security video obtained by ABC7 Chicago.
“Ah! Yeah, sir, I don’t feel comfortable opening this door without my parents here, sir,” the boy is heard saying.
That’s when one of the officers enters the home and grabs the teen around the throat, knocking over a nearby chair, before pinning him down on a sofa. The second officer can be seen running upstairs.
The officer who was holding the teen down by his neck continued to do so, until the boy told the officers they were being recorded, according to the lawsuit filed by the boy and his family last week. That’s when they started looking around for the cameras. Then they arrested the teen. His brother watched the entire incident in horror, according to court documents.
The identity of neither the boy nor his brother has been made public.
“I did get scared, because I never expected something like this could happen to me,” the boy told ABC7Chicago in an interview that showed only his hands. ABC7 blurred his face in the video, provided by the family.
The family is suing the village of Carpentersville, Carpentersville Police Cmdr. Paul Bryan and the unknown Carpentersville police officers for searching the home without a warrant, among other counts that include false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and invasion of privacy, according to the lawsuit.
A friend of the teen’s ran away from home June 13, according to the lawsuit. He says he called an Uber for her and told her to go home. That same day, the girl’s parents went with police officers to his home, knowing that the mother wasn’t there, the lawsuit alleges.
But the girl didn’t go home, according to the suit, and that’s what prompted police to show up at the boy’s door with the girl’s parents.
While the police were searching the house, the detained teen’s brother called their mother at work, crying. Violet Hernandez spoke to the officers and asked them why they were in her home. According to the lawsuit, she told the officers they didn’t have a warrant. At that point, Hernandez said, the officer hung up the phone.
By the time Hernandez got home, the officers were gone. But they returned to the house the next day, again when Hernandez wasn’t there. That’s when the physical confrontation occurred, the family attorney says.
“It was an illegal search of this home. It was an illegal seizure of that minor, and ultimately it was a false arrest,” Keenan Saulter, the family’s attorney, told ABC7 Chicago.
Neither Saulter nor Hernandez responded to Washington Post requests for comment.
Bradford Stewart, attorney for the village of Carpentersville, said the village and its police department take all police interactions with the public seriously.
“What is known is that the police were responding to a request from a neighboring law enforcement agency to locate a missing female minor who was last seen at the residence in which the alleged incident occurred,” he said in an emailed statement. “A third-party investigation was initiated to address the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the involved officers’ actions. At this point, the investigation is ongoing.”
Stewart said the village is waiting on the results of the investigation before making any further comments.
The legal age for a child to stay at home unsupervised in Illinois is 14. In April, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a nearly unanimous vote to lower the age to 12. The bill went to the Illinois Senate in May.