Illinois Man Trapped in Jail for 31 Hours Sues for Trauma

PHOTO: Farad Polk spent 31 hours trapped inside a jail cell during a visit to Cook County Jail in Illinois, July 5, 2014.
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An Illinois man who was accidentally imprisoned behind a jail's steel door for 31 hours is suing for negligence and trauma.

Farad Polk visited Cook County Jail, where his son is an inmate, on July 5. The guards told Polk to have a seat in a waiting area down the hall, Polk says.

When he entered the room – an area of the jail that was under renovation – the heavy, steel doors slammed behind him, turning the visitor into a prisoner.

For nearly a day and a half he says he tried anything to get someone’s attention. He screamed and pounded on the room’s 2-foot-thick walls, but nobody heard him.

“A concrete box,” Polk called it at a Monday press conference.

When the screaming and pounding failed, Polk broke the head off one of the sprinklers, flooding the room.

The fire department arrived and finally, Polk was free. Polk says he’s traumatized by the incident.

“It just tears my heart out,” he said.

Cook County Jail released a statement to ABC News, describing the situation as an “extraordinarily unique set of circumstances that unfortunately resulted in him being in that room for that period of time.”

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