DeBolt to sue sheriff's office
By ANDREW SOUKUP
Chad DeBolt, the Notre Dame football player arrested in Florida in December, has notified officials that he intends to sue for injuries he claims were sustained when officers beat him at the Duval County Jail.
Attorneys for Chad DeBolt told the Associated Press that he intends to sue the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office for personal injuries and civil rights violations.
"Our investigation to date strongly suggests that members of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office willfully struck, kicked and stomped Mr. DeBolt," attorney Craig Williams wrote in a letter to city officials, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press.
Under Florida law, a lawsuit against a government agency cannot be filed until six months after the letter is submitted.
DeBolt was arrested Dec. 27 when the Irish were in Jacksonville, Fla. for the Gator Bowl on trespassing charges at the Ocean Club.
Witnesses said when DeBolt left the club he had no injuries, but his booking photo shows him with both eyes and a lip swollen and blood on his face.
An internal police investigation said DeBolt was highly intoxicated when he entered the jail and became violent. Pepper spray and physical restraint had to be used to restrain him, the report said.
DeBolt later apologized for his behavior, the report said. He did not play in the Gator Bowl.
He avoided criminal prosecution in February, when his attorney and prosecutors agreed to a pre-trial intervention program where charges were dropped in exchange for a $150 fine paid to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
All News Stories for Friday, July 11, 2003