Lawsuit says Des Plaines cops beat man
One officer fired, other was suspended
A DuPage County man has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Des Plaines and two police officers -- John Bueno and Andy Contreras -- charging he was beaten while in their custody, violating his civil rights.
Bueno was fired by the city March 2 after allegations of misconduct. Charges against Contreras stemming from the same incident were dropped after he and the city reached a settlement in April. He rejoined the force this month after a four-month suspension.
Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan said Thursday the city has not received a copy of the lawsuit and he declined further comment until he has had a chance to review it. Acting Police Chief Mike Kozak directed all inquiries to City Attorney Dave Wiltse since it involved pending litigation. Neither Wiltse nor City Manager Mike Bartholomew were available Thursday.
According to an amended complaint filed Wednesday, plaintiff Sergio Toutges claims Bueno and Contreras intimidated, threatened and beat him while he was handcuffed and in their custody. The officers were transporting Toutges from the Elmhurst police station where he had been detained on Aug. 12, 2010, on a Des Plaines arrest warrant for an incident involving Des Plaines police officers.
On the way to Des Plaines, Bueno and Contreras intimidated and threatened Toutges with violence, then drove to a parking garage where Contreras grabbed Toutges and pulled him out of the car, Bueno punched him in the right eye, and both officers "punched and kicked" him several times while he was handcuffed, the complaint states.
The suit states that Bueno lied to the Des Plaines booking officer who noticed Toutges' injuries, saying Toutges was already injured when the two officers picked him up in Elmhurst.
After Toutges went through Des Plaines police booking, he was left in a cell without medical attention for hours before he was released on bail the next day, the complaint states.
Toutges later was treated at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital for the injuries he received at the hands of the officers, the suit states.
Bueno, a 10-year veteran of the Des Plaines police department, is seeking to get his job back in an arbitration hearing scheduled for Nov. 20, said Richard Reimer of Hinsdale, Bueno's union attorney.
He also has filed a racial discrimination complaint against the city with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He claims a superior officer made derogatory and insensitive comments about his Hispanic heritage.
Reimer said Bueno has not been served with a copy of the federal lawsuit but is aware of it.
Since Bueno has a pending EEOC complaint against the city, "on his behalf and upon his request we are asking the city to provide him with a counsel of his choosing because of the potential of a conflict of interest," Reimer said.