A gay Chicago man
is seeking $50,000 in damages, alleging in a lawsuit
that he was brutally beaten in March 2006 by police who
spewed antigay epithets and left him in a holding cell
for two days without food or water.
Ruppert, 37, was originally taken into police custody on a
charge of disorderly conduct at a bar, to which he pleaded
guilty, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Torres and Kent Pemberton asked Ruppert to leave the bar
and placed him in their squad car; he had not been
arrested or handcuffed. His suit claims that while the
officers drove off with him, they used antigay slurs
while hitting him in the face and about his head.
Ruppert weighs 120 pounds; his lawyers say the officers each
weigh more than 200 pounds.
"It was only
until he told them he had AIDS that they stopped,"
said one of Ruppert's lawyers, Michael Oppenheimer, at a
press conference Thursday.
Ruppert used his cell phone to call his partner, who he says
overheard the beating and antigay slurs. WMAQ TV reports
that Ruppert was eventually taken to a hospital, where
he received 16 stitches under his eye. After his
hospital release, he was taken into police custody and
placed in a holding cell.
The suit, filed
in Chicago's federal court, said Rupert resorted to
drinking water from the toilet to avoid dehydration over his
two days behind bars.
He was also
charged with two counts of aggravated battery of an officer,
but the charges were dismissed because Torres and
Pemberton did not want to testify about the incident
in court, according to a spokeswoman for the Cook
County state's attorney.
City and police
officials declined to comment on the suit, the
Tribune reported. (The Advocate)