Man sues police, city after claim that he was forced to lick a urinal in a public restroom

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Posted at 7:02 AM, Feb 04, 2020

HONOLULU -- A homeless man is suing the Honolulu Police Department and the city after he says officers forced him to lick a urinal in a public restroom.

Samuel Ingall was seeking shelter in the restroom in January 2018 when one of the officers told him in an “aggressive tone” that the “only way he could avoid arrest was by licking the urinal in the bathroom,” the lawsuit said.

Another officer stood in the doorway, propping open the door, then closed it so they wouldn't be caught on video, according to the lawsuit filed last week.

It said Ingall, “against his will, knelt before the urinal and licked the urinal."

John Rabago, who remains on restricted duty, pleaded guilty in December to depriving Ingall of his civil rights. Reginald Ramones, who left the department in August, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that he knew Rabago committed a civil rights violation but didn't inform authorities.

According to Ingall's lawsuit, Rabago followed him out of the bathroom and laughed as he told other officers about Ingall licking the urinal.

“For now, we’ll decline comment on the pending litigation,” city spokesman Alexander Zannes said.

Rabago wasn't allowed to plead no contest, so he pleaded guilty to accept responsibility, defense attorney Megan Kau said Monday. The guilty plea “potentially puts the city at risk because of the civil lawsuit,” which was expected, she said.

Ramones' attorney didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Ramones previously said in court that Rabago persuaded him not to tell authorities what happened and to delete their text messages about it.

The lawsuit names Rabago and Ramones individually as defendants.

Two other officers were placed on restricted duty when police Chief Susan Ballard turned over the case to the FBI in 2018.

Ingall is in a residential substance abuse program and plans to go into a clean and sober house, said his attorney, Myles Breiner.