Lawsuit Alleges Rats, Snakes, Racoons at City Jail

Kevin Killeen
February 12, 2018 - 6:16 pm
St. Louis medium-security workhouse

(KMOX/Brad Choat)


ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A lawsuit filed against the city claims rats, snakes and racoons are getting inside the city's jail on Hall Street.

Attorney Elad Gross represents the plaintiff, Charles Lewis, who was held in the jail for more than a year.

"There were rats that would come by his bed almost on a daily basis," Gross said. "Snakes would come through. Raccoons were there ... inside the workhouse."

The suit also alleges that Lewis' Constitutional rights were violated when he was held eight days after the city dropped charges him.

Lewis was originally held for 10 months after his arrest in May of 2016, when he was charged with  "making terrorist threats" against a former employer.

His case went to trial, but the jury deadlocked, so he went back to jail for two more months.

After 12 months, the charges against him were dropped, but his attorney alleges he was held without cause for at least eight days more.

The Circuit Attorney's Office and the City Sheriff, both named in the suit, declined to comment.

A spokesman for the mayor's office also declined to comment on the lawsuit, except to say that the jail has regular inspections, and exterminators are on call.