Alton police and officers sued by man claiming false arrest

Kelly Holleran Jun. 22, 2011, 11:22am

A man claims Alton police illegally arrested and incarcerated him without probable cause.

Sylvester Jennings filed a lawsuit June 18 in Madison County Circuit Court against the city of Alton, Private First Class Lukowski, Private First Class Samuel J. Riney, Detective Jarrett Ford and Sergeant Jerald Cooley.

In his complaint, Jennings claims Alton police officers Riney and Lukowski arrested him at his home at 2880 Watalee Ave. in Alton on July 2, 2009.

"That said arrest was due to the above-mentioned officers being informed by Sergeant Jerald Cooley and Detective Jarrett Ford that there was probable cause to arrest the Plaintiff for the charge of aggravated home repair fraud," the suit states. "That said arrest was unlawful in that there was no probable cause for the arrest."

On July 5, 2009, Jennings was released from custody and the state's attorney found there was no probable cause to arrest him, the complaint says.

However, because of Jennings' arrest, he claims he suffered physical harm "due to battery, being handcuffed, false imprisonment, humiliation, embarrassment, pain and suffering, and loss of normal life plus attorney's fees and costs."

In his suit, Jennings alleges police violated his Fourth Amendment right.

Jennings seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs and attorney's fees.

Thomas O. Falb of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-557.

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