Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
THRELKELD v. WHITE CASTLE SYSTEMS
April 24, 2002
DEBORAH A. THRELKELD, PLAINTIFF,
WHITE CASTLE SYSTEMS, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, ANDRE TILLMAN, SILK WILLIAMS, RAMONA WILSON, ALPHONSO BELLO, M.D., AND JACKSON PARK HOSPITAL, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Elaine E. Bucklo, United States District Judge
David John DeJong, Guy Delson Geleerd, Jr., David J. DeJong & Associates,
Chicago, IL, for Plaintiff.
Shirley R. Calloway, Illinois Attorney General's Office, Chicago, IL,
Martin Peter Greene, Kevin Thomas Lee, Robert C. Farrar, Greene & Letts,
Chicago, IL, for White Castle Systems.
Stephen H. Pugh, Camille B. Conway, John M. Broderick, Pugh, Jones &
Johnson, PC, Chicago, IL, for Andre Tillman.
Yvonne Spradley La Grone, City of Chicago, Law Department, Corporation
Counsel, Chicago, IL, Thomas Joseph Platt, Josh Michael Engquist, City of
Chicago, Department of Law, Individual Defense Litigation, Chicago, IL, for
Silk Williams, Ramona Wilson.
Mark A. Deptula, Lord, Bissell & Brook, Rockford, IL, Brian C. Rocca,
Jason William Fura, Fedota, Childers & Rocca, PC, Chicago, IL, for Alphonso
Raymond J. Kelly, Jr., Kenneth R. Landis, Jr., Rebecca Zavett, Seyfarth
Shaw, Chicago, IL, for Jackson Park Hospital.
Miriam H. Soloveichik, Chicago, IL, for Ariel Kerman.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Deborah Threlkeld was arrested and taken to the hospital, where she was
restrained and injected with a sedative against her will on June 13,
1998. She sues Chicago Police Officers Silk Williams and Ramona Wilson
("the Officers") for excessive force and unlawful detention under
42 U.S.C. § 1983,*fn1 and brings various state law claims against
White Castle Systems, Inc., Andre Tillman, Dr. Alphonso Bello, and
Jackson Park Hospital ("the Hospital"). Defendants Williams, Wilson, Bello
and Jackson Park Hospital move for summary judgment.
Ms. Threlkeld and her children went to the White Castle restaurant at
1550 East 79th Street in Chicago, Illinois, in the evening on June 13,
1998. While parking her car, she became entangled in a fight with Andre
Tillman, a security guard for White Castle. Officer Williams and Wilson
responded to a police dispatch and arrived at the White Castle after Mr.
Tillman had already handcuffed Ms. Threlkeld. When the Officers arrived,
Ms. Threlkeld was crying and saying "Hallelujah" repeatedly in a high
pitched voice. The Officers walked over to Mr. Tillman and Ms. Threlkeld,
and the Officers were told that Ms. Threlkeld had assaulted an officer.
Mr. Tillman signed a misdemeanor criminal complaint for simple battery,
and the Officers offered to take custody of Ms. Threlkeld. The Officers
told her to kneel down so that they could take off the handcuffs put on
by Mr. Tillman and replace them with their handcuffs. The Officers say
that she did not physically resist, but Myonie Payton, Ms. Threlkeld's
daughter, said that it looked like Ms. Threlkeld did not go down to her
knees "by her own actions" and that it looked like someone had pulled or
yanked her down. Ms. Threlkeld does not claim any injuries as a result of
being forced to her knees.
The Officers took Ms. Threlkeld to the Fourth District Chicago Police
station. On the way to the station, Ms. Threlkeld continued to scream and
shout. She was taken to an interview room, and she admits that she was
crying and praying hysterically. Lieutenant Kenneth Januszyk, the watch
commander on duty at the Fourth District, heard screaming coming from an
adjacent interview room, and after ten minutes he went to the interview
room and asked Officer Williams what was going on and how long Ms.
Threlkeld had been screaming. Lt. Januszyk decided that Ms. Threlkeld was
acting peculiarly and was too unstable to be charged, so he ordered the
Officers to take her to Jackson Park Hospital for a psychiatric
The Officers testified that Ms. Threlkeld continued to scream and rock
on the way to the Hospital, but Ms. Threlkeld said that she was quiet and
was trying to be cooperative. Ms. Threlkeld says that the Officers told
Hospital personnel that she was in need of psychiatric evaluation, but
that they did not explain the ordeal that Ms. Threlkeld had gone though.
She says that the Officers' statements were false, but she offers no
evidence in support of that claim except her own belief that she was not
a threat to herself or others. Pl's Resp. to Defs.'s Stmt. of Facts
¶ 30. A nurse came in to take her vital signs, and Ms. Threlkeld told
the nurse that she had insurance and would rather see her own physician
at Rush Presbyterian Hospital, and the nurse told the Officers that she
was refusing care. At some point, the Officers signed an Involuntary
Admission form for Ms. Threlkeld. A man in a uniform told Ms. Threlkeld
to follow him, and he led her to an observation room on the psychiatric
side of the emergency room with two beds — one with restraints and
one without. Ms. Threlkeld moved toward the bed without restraints, but
someone asked her to go to the bed with restraints. When Ms. Threlkeld
began to question this, ...