Timothy Siaki, a deaf Colorado man, is suing Adams County for detaining him in jail for 25 days without providing a sign-language interpreter before eventually dropping the domestic assault charges that got him arrested, 9News reports. Siaki's lawsuit filed last week claims that Adams County sheriffs violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in his arrest and detention.
On May 14, 2010, Siaki and his fiancee Kimberlee Moore, who is also deaf, were staying at a Super 8 Motel. They got into an argument and were "verbalizing sounds," which The Denver Post reports is a common way the deaf can communicate, and to the unfamiliar, can sound like a deaf person is speaking "loudly or abruptly."
The fight resulted in a noise complaint and deputies responding knocked down the motel-room door and tackled Siaki after he did not respond to their orders, according to CBS Denver. Siaki could not understand the deputies because he does not read or write English, nor does he read lips, The Denver Post reported, but he does communicate through American Sign Language.
Moore tried to tell the authorities that Siaki had not hurt her, but was not understood because she was not provided with an interpreter or any aids, according to 7News. "There were 25 days of his life that he had access to nothing -- no information on why he was being held, no information about his case or what was going to happen to him," said Kevin William, Siaki's attorney who filed the federal lawsuit.
The suit claims that Adams County violated the ADA by not providing an interpretor or auxiliary aids for the deaf couple during the arrest and booking process, the Daily Mail reports.
Adams County officials are reviewing the suit before making any comments.