Suit: Man had fatal asthma attack after falsely arrested by police

The estate of a man who allegedly died from an asthma attack after he was arrested in September has filed a lawsuit.

Anthony Petrone, an administrator for the estate of Justin Cook, filed a suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court, alleging Cook was falsely arrested and that officers showed “deliberate indifference” to his medical condition. The suit names the city and police officers as defendants.

According to the suit, Cook was driving in the 3900 block of West Polk on Sept. 20 when he was pulled over by police. He was subsequently detained and arrested, the suit states.

Cook, who “suffered from severe asthma,” began to have an asthma attack while handcuffed, according to the suit. He allegedly told the officers that he could not breathe and needed immediate attention, the suit states.

The suit states it was “readily apparent” to the officers that he was “having great difficulty in breathing and needed immediate medical attention.” But officers did not provide him with “prompt and appropriate” medical attention, and Cook died later that day, the suit says.

According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, Cook, who was 29 and lived in the 3100 block of West Montrose, died in the 3900 block of West Polk at 7:26 p.m. Sept. 20. His autopsy was inconclusive pending further studies at the time.

The suit alleges the officers falsely arrested and unlawfully detained Cook, were indifferent to his medical need and intentionally inflicted severe emotional distress by not securing medical care, proximately causing Cook’s death.

The three-count suit claims false arrest and unlawful detention, deliberate indifference to serious medical condition and intentional infliction of sever emotional distress and seeks an unknown amount in damages.

The spokesman for the Chicago Department of Law declined to comment on the suit.

The Latest
Coby White led with a career high 42 points, and the Bulls will face the Heat on Friday for No. 8 seed in the East.
Shermain Sargent, 41, is accused of beating Timothy Ash, 74, on Jan. 7 in the 6400 block of South King Drive. Ash died Jan. 12 of injuries suffered from the assault, the medical examiner reported.
“It may be the best option available,” Marc Ganis, the co-founder and CEO of Chicago-based Sportscorp Ltd., said Wednesday. “Sometimes you just have to take the best option available, even if it’s not ideal.”
Anderson became a full-time NHL player for the first time on the 2023-24 Hawks, and he did so by not focusing so singularly on that exact objective.