Bitten by a Drunk|Chicago Cop, Woman Says

CHICAGO (CN) – A drunk, off-duty Chicago cop bit a woman’s thigh so fiercely she required medical treatment – yet his cronies charged her with disorderly conduct, she claims in court.
     Lisa Murata sued Chicago and 11 police officers, in Federal Court.
     “On the early morning of May 4, 2012, the plaintiff, Lisa Murata, who was approximately 5’1” tall and weighed approximately 115 pounds, was walking outside in the vicinity of 3478 North Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois, when, without any provocation on her part, she was struck and knocked to the ground by the defendant [Nicholas] Pocius, a man nearly twice the size of the plaintiff who, at the time, was off duty but intoxicated and acting in an unruly, abusive, profane and threatening manner toward other bystanders and who, apparently, had already been involved in some physical alteration with one or more persons within the same vicinity,” Murata says in the complaint.
     “After being knocked to the ground, the plaintiff, Lisa Murata, fell upon her back with the defendant Pocius on top of her. When the plaintiff attempted to free herself from the defendant, the defendant Pocius bit the plaintiff on her left thigh.”
     Murata was taken to a hospital and treated for a human bite wound, she says.
     When Murata went to file a complaint against Pocius at the police station, she was “placed under arrest by the defendant [W.A.] Seski and the defendant [Kevin] Leahy for the alleged offense of battery upon the defendant Pocius, which had been approved by defendant [J.A.] Hoffman, whereupon the plaintiff was handcuffed to a bench and left in the interview room. Thereafter, plaintiff was transferred to a holding cell and after having remained in custody for several hours the plaintiff was released under a $1,500.00 Recognizance Bond with directions that she appear before Branch 29-2 of the Circuit Court of Cook County on May 30,2012 to answer to this criminal charge filed against her,” according to the complaint.
     Murata says she collected evidence by placing another police officer, Nick Prazuch, at the scene of the alleged assault, and found inconsistencies between the paramedics’ and police reports.
     “While defendant Pocius admitted at the scene of the incident to paramedics from the Chicago Fire Department that he had been ‘drinking all night’ and exhibited the odor of alcohol and while defendant Pocius exhibited the odor of alcohol as well as an inability to walk straight to the triage nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, the Original Case Incident Report of the defendant responding officers described defendant Pocius as being ‘sober’ without any mention of alcohol intake on his part,” the complaint states.
     It adds: “That while the defendant Pocius had admitted to the triage nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital to being in an altercation at a bar, the Original Case Report of the defendant responding officers made no mention of a bar and, instead, reported that defendant Pocius as having been assaulted while ‘standing on the sidewalk and attempting to smoke a cigarette.”
     Prosecutors dropped charges against Murata in April when she informed them whom she intended to call as witnesses, she says in the complaint. She claims that Pocius was never disciplined for assaulting her.
     She seeks punitive damages for violation of due process, conspiracy, assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
     She is represented by Timothy Okal.
     Also named as defendants are Officers Joseph Siska, Edwin Dantes, S. Romanski, A. Warda, Paul Santangelo, and Ed Hurt.

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