Victim of vigilante mob sues Philly police

March 22, 2011 at 4:03 PM

PHILADELPHIA, March 22 (UPI) -- A man attacked by a mob who wrongly believed he had raped an 11-year-old girl has sued Philadelphia police, saying they encouraged street justice.

Michael Zenquis, 28, who filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday, names both the city and the police department as defendants, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Zenquis said he was beaten after police released a tip from an anonymous caller about a man nicknamed "Romeo," a name applied to him because of his voice. He ended up in the hospital after being hit with a baseball bat, a plank and fists.

"Not only was he beaten up by a bunch of civilians who jumped him out of the clear blue sky, he was also identified as a rapist and not just a rapist, but a child rapist," Zenquis' lawyer, Jonathan Feinberg, said. "He was labeled as this monster criminal with no basis whatsoever."

A day after Zenquis was attacked, another group of people surrounded a suspect, Jose Carrasquillo, who had been named as a "person of interest," beat him and held him for police. Carrasquillo is now serving a 30- to 66-year prison sentence.

Two of Zenquis' alleged attackers were arrested, and the father of the 11-year-old later apologized to him, while thanking the crowd that beat Carrasquillo.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm