Homeless Man Forced To Lick A Urinal Is Suing The Sh*t Out Of Honolulu P.D.
A homeless man who was forced to lick a urinal by Honolulu police officers is now suing the police department and the city itself for what, hopefully, will be a very large amount of money.
Way back in January of 2018, police officers were called in on a "nuisance" — a 37-year-old homeless man named Samuel Ingall who was cleaning himself up in a shopping mall restroom. When they arrived, Ingall begged them not to arrest him — and Officer John Rabago asked his partner, Officer Reginald Ramones, to close the door to the restroom in order to avoid being seen by a security camera.
It was then that Rabago repeatedly threatened Ingall with arrest, unless he licked a urinal. Eventually, scared out of his wits, Ingall did it, while Rabago stood there and laughed. According to Ingall's family members, they also hit him, forced him to sit in urine, and then shoved his head into a toilet.
This all came out not as a result of Ingall reporting it, but because when Rabago was bragging about it to some fellow officers, one of those fellow officers was not amused and reported him to the department. Good for that one cop! They should certainly get some kind of commendation or award or something for not being an absolute piece of shit.
While at first Robago tried to claim that he was only joking about having done that and even instructed Officer Ramones to delete text messages on his phone to make it look that way, he eventually, in December of last year, pleaded guilty to violating Ingall's civil rights. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
According to testimony given by Officer Ramones as part of his plea agreement, this was part of a pattern — Robago had previously shoved another homeless man's head in a toilet in "exchange" for not taking him to jail.
But, according to Rabago's attorney, this was all an "aberration," a silly mistake that he would certainly never make again.
"I think John made a mistake, he owned up to his mistake, he accepted responsibility and he entered a guilty plea," said Rabago's attorney Megan Kau.
"This is not something happening on a day-to-day basis in the police force. "
Now, I suppose I cannot say for certain, other than the fact that he has done this before, that this was not some kind of random "mistake" — but it certainly does seem like the kind of thing one would have to work up to. It just doesn't seem plausible that anyone is going to go from zero to urinal licking. There's gotta be a whole trajectory of "mistakes" before one lands on "making a homeless guy lick a urinal while laughing at him." That's a real specific, sadistic kind of crime. And that's the kind of pathology the Police Department has a responsibility to weed out. That is part of their responsibility to the people they are supposed to be serving.
Right now, Samuel Ingall is in a rehab facility trying to get off of drugs. Hopefully, whatever money he gets from this will allow him to get himself together and rebuild his life.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse