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Carpentersville settles brutality suit

CARPENTERSVILLE – A Crystal Lake man will receive $50,000 in the settlement of a lawsuit against Carpentersville and its police department.

Johny Perez, 21, sued in August, alleging he was punched in the face by an officer and mistreated because of his race during a traffic stop in March 2011. Neither the village nor officer Alan Webb admitted any liability under the terms of the settlement.

Perez’s attorney, Jeannie Ridings, said her client feels the sum was sufficient for the damage he suffered.

“[It supports] his claim that he was doing nothing wrong when he was beaten by Officer Alan Webb,” Ridings said.

She said Perez hoped the department would institute additional policies about use of force, but he has not pressed the issue. “He is gratified that the matter was made public, and hopes that it does not ever happen again to anyone else,” she said.

Perez, a U.S. citizen who speaks Spanish and English, was pulled over that day by Carpentersville police for driving 5 mph over the posted speed limit, the lawsuit states. He was asked to step out of the vehicle to read the speed limit sign and then return to the car before Webb and several other officers arrived.

According to the lawsuit, Webb asked Perez to again exit his vehicle and he was shoved in the chest. Webb punched him twice in the face, kneed him and struck him in the back of the head. Other officers held Perez while the attack occurred, the lawsuit states.

The officers also shouted racial slurs and verbally threatened Perez, it says.

Perez suffered bruises on his face and body and was later treated at Centegra Hospital – McHenry, which led to $3,000 in medical bills, according to the lawsuit.

Perez was arrested and charged with misdemeanor resisting a peace officer and aggravated battery, but the charges ultimately were dropped.

The lawsuit also cited the village’s 2007 nonbinding resolution to make English its official language, saying it gives police a license to discriminate against Spanish-speaking people.

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