Woman Sues Cook County, IL after being Attacked by an Escaped Felon

A lawsuit was recently filed by an Illinois woman, after she was assaulted by a an inmate who managed to escape after overpower the guards who were transporting him.  The facts surrounding that case, and my thoughts on the situation, can be seen below:

The escape of inmate Robert Maday and his attack upon Domenica Saverino

Domenica Saverino had just pulled into the parking lot of her office on Sept.18, 2009, when escaped felon Robert Maday assaulted her at gun point and stole her car, according to a lawsuit filed today in Cook County Circuit Court. The suit, which names Maday, Cook County and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office as defendants, says that the agents transporting Maday to a Sept. 17 court hearing in Rolling Meadows did not follow the proper transportation protocol for moving prisoners. The agents, who are also named in the suit, used a vehicle that did not have “a secure cage” separating the prisoner from the driver, the suit states. Maday was able to overpower them, stealing one of their guns and a pair of trousers, before escaping, according to the suit. . . Saverino claims she suffered post traumatic stress from the attack, to which the suit says Maday pled guilty in April 2010. The agents who were transporting Maday were eventually fired by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, which cited “an inexcusable and unacceptable inattention to duty,” according to the suit. The suit also alleges that Maday had a history of violence and had previously escaped from custody.

Relying upon the police for protection

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This not the first time that the police or another governmental agency has failed to protect the public from a dangerous criminal – and it won’t be the last.  Whether the issue is poor 911 response times, police officers who ignore a future victim’s pleas for help, seriously understaffed police departments, police officers who accidentally shoot the victim rather than the attacker, or even intentional misconduct, the fact the is that the government cannot be counted upon to swoop in and save an individual citizen who is facing a violent attack.  Indeed, as this case shows, the government can’t even be relied upon to keep the criminals it has already apprehended from stealing a guard’s gun and escaping.

Armed self defense is the solution

Since the police and other authorities can’t be counted upon to protect any individual citizen from crime, I find it prudent to be armed for self defense.  As the statistics and numerous real-life examples of armed self defense show, having a gun is often the difference between saving oneself, or suffering at the hands of a violent criminal.

Since this is a case of an escaped prisoner victimizing an unarmed citizen, I think that is is appropriate to mention an armed self defense example that I wrote about during the summer of 2009:

As reported, an Idaho woman used her .22 caliber handgun to scare away two criminals who escaped from prison and tried to break into her home.  Cassidy Lockett, of Cottonwood, Idaho was at home with her young children when she noticed two men trying to break in.  She hid the children behind a couch, and grabbed her .22 caliber pistol.  By then, one of the home invading criminals was half way in to her home through a window.  She pointed the pistol at the criminal, and told him to leave.  That home invader, and another who was trying to break in through the front door, both fled.  The sheriff’s department later determined that these two home invaders were Richard Nieves and Ben Westley Perez, who were escaped criminals.  The sheriff’s department then presented Cassidy Lockett with a certificate of achievement for her courage.

The propriety of this lawsuit
A final matter: In the comments section on ChicagoBreakingNews.com, individuals have referred to the victim who is suing Cook County as a “moneygrubber.”  I find myself in complete disagreement with that statement.  Firstly, based upon the available facts, it seems that this woman was harmed as a result of inexcusable negligence on the part of Cook County employees and officers, who should have used much greater care when transporting a dangerous criminal.  As such, she should be properly compensated for that harm.

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Also, it is worth noting that society as a whole may also benefit from this lawsuit.  If this woman prevails in court and Cook County is forced to compensate her, then county officials will have a strong incentive to ensure that steps are taken to prevent another such (expensive) mishap.  As a result, other citizens may be saved from suffering at the hands of criminals who were allowed to escape due to negligence on the part of their guards or on the part of the county.  Indeed, the persuasive power of lawsuits to curb negligent behavior and saves lives is beyond dispute.