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Lawsuit alleges Mundelein police burned girl’s wrist trying to saw off handcuffs

A lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on May 14 against the Village of Mundelein.

A lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that Mundelein police officers used a power saw to remove jammed handcuffs from a 16-year-old girl, causing permanent and severe burns to the teen.

The case was filed on May 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by Mundelein resident Emily Hitzke on behalf of her daughter, Ava.

The complaint says that Ava was socializing with friends at Dinosaur Park in Mundelein around 11 p.m. on June 11, 2019.

Two Mundelein police officers, whose identities are unknown, approached the juveniles and told them to leave or they would be arrested for trespassing.

The officers learned Ava had an outstanding arrest warrant due to a missed court appearance on a misdemeanor battery charge, the lawsuit said.

Ava was arrested and transported to the Mundelein Police Department where officers later attempted to remove her handcuffs, but the left handcuff jammed and could not be removed.

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The two officers brought Ava to a nearby Mundelein fire station.

“As the members of the Mundelein Police Department and Mundelein Fire Department attempted to saw through the handcuff on minor Plaintiff, the handcuff became heated to an extreme temperature causing significant and severe burns to the minor Plaintiff’s wrist,” the lawsuit said.

“The minor Plaintiff experienced extreme and severe physical and emotional pain and suffering; as well as permanent scarring and disfigurement as a direct and proximate result of the actions of Defendants,” the suit added.

The lawsuit, which alleges the officers engaged in “willful and wanton misconduct” by disregarding the girl’s safety, is asking for damages in excess of $100,000.


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