Brookfield man wins $750K settlement from Maywood

Suffered beating in police lockup

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By BOB UPHUES

A Brookfield man who suffered a 2004 beating at the hands of another inmate in the Maywood Police Department lockup, while officers allegedly ignored his cries for help, received a six-figure settlement from the Village of Maywood last week.

George Caithamer, 22, will receive a $750,000 payout from the Village of Maywood in order to drop his federal civil rights complaint against that town's police chief, a police lieutenant, five police officers and two telecommunications officers, according to Caithamer's attorney, Blake Horwitz.

Meanwhile, Caithamer faces his own legal issues and was scheduled to be in court today at the Cook County Fourth District Court in Maywood in connection with a 2005 arrest in Brookfield on a variety of drug and weapons charges.

In the lockup beating case, though, a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleged that Caithamer was severely beaten in the Maywood police lockup on June 13, 2004 by inmate Marcus Hrobowski over a 20-minute period. The incident was caught on video and, according to Horwitz, was broadcast on the closed-circuit TV in Maywood police department dispatch center.

Caithamer had been arrested by Maywood police for a traffic violation.

A video of part of the incident shows the 6 foot, 4 inch, 210-pound Hrobowski attacking Caithamer and forcing him to strip naked in the holding cell. Some still photos of the incident provided to the Landmark by Horwitz show Hrobowski holding Caithamer in a chokehold, while another shows Caithamer screaming, apparently for help, into the holding cell camera. Another photo shows a naked Caithamer having his face pressed into the cell wall by Hrobowski, whom Horwitz described as "a gang member well known to [the] local police department for brutality."

According to the complaint, the beating resulted in multiple injuries to Caithamer, who was eventually taken to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment. Hrobowski was charged with aggravated battery in connection with the attack on Caithamer.

Faces own court dates

Caithamer is known to Brookfield police for two incidents in recent years.

On Feb. 9, 2005, police raided Caithamer's home in the 4100 block of Blanchan Avenue, allegedly seizing 27 grams of cocaine, 4 grams of cannabis, drug paraphernalia, cash and a loaded 9 mm handgun.

He was charged with delivery of a controlled substance and armed violence, both Class X felonies, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $500,000. He was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony, possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a handgun and ammunition without a Firearm Owner's ID card.

Caithamer was also arrested by Brookfield police in June 2005 in connection with a graffiti spree on May 24 of last year. He was charged with criminal defacement and aggravated battery to a police officer for allegedly throwing a spray paint can at an officer, striking him in the leg. He's also scheduled for a Maybrook court date on those charges today.

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