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Elgin man who was arrested sues village
By Laura Janota | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 10:11 PM

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Originally published Jan. 8, 1994

Martin E. Blake, who was arrested but never charged in the murders of seven people at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta Restaurant in Palatine, filed suit Friday against the village of Palatine.

Blake, who filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court on the eve of the anniversary of the murders, charged in the four-count complaint that he was falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned, that his civil rights were violated and that Palatine police intentionally inflicted emotional distress after his arrest Jan. 9, 1993.

Blake, 24, was released from police custody two days after his arrest.

Palatine Police Chief Jerry Bratcher called the accusations "nonsense" and said the allegation "doesn't merit a comment."

Village President Rita Mullins defended the police department and bemoaned the potential legal costs of defending the lawsuit.

"A suspect is a suspect. He was never charged, but he was a suspect," Mullins said. "I'm sure the police department conducted themselves according to the law."

Blake, in the lawsuit, contends police arrested him at gunpoint outside his Elgin home without cause and without an arrest warrant.

Blake contends he was questioned for several periods lasting up to 11 hours and was denied adequate food and drink and access to a bathroom.

He said he was denied the right to consult with a lawyer and said police falsely informed him he failed a lie-detector test when he actually passed the test.

Blake also accused the village of releasing his name to reporters, which Mullins denied.

"We never released anything and that's why we got so much criticism," she said.