Epileptic man’s excessive force, wrongful arrest case proceeds

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A man with epilepsy who claims Indianapolis police assaulted and falsely arrested him while he was having a seizure may proceed with numerous claims against the officers and the city, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson denied summary judgment for the city and the officers in most of the claims raised in Randy Lynn v. City of Indianapolis, et al.,  1:13-CV-179. She also ruled that Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officers Timothy Huddlestone and Nathan Challis are not entitled to qualified immunity.

Huddlestone was the first officer to respond to a dispatch call of a person down in the 2300 block of West Washington Street, possibly having a seizure. He testified that he observed Randy Lynn covered with blood and with a white substance believed to be a narcotic in and beneath his nose. Other officers saw neither blood nor white powder on Lynn at the scene, except for snow that had fallen before the incident happened in February 2011.

Huddlestone said he told Lynn to sit down, but he didn’t respond. Huddlestone then swept Lynn’s foot from under him to take him to the ground, but Lynn attempted to stand, causing Huddletsone to fall on top of him. When Challis arrived, the struggle continued, and Challis used a Taser on Lynn at least three times before an ambulance arrived.

Lynn later was charged with resisting arrest and public intoxication, but the charges were dismissed.

Magnus-Stinson chastised both sides for failing to adequately develop arguments, but she found significant issues of material fact in general that preclude summary judgment in favor of the officers and city. Lynn’s federal Section 1983 excessive force, false arrest and failure to intervene claims remain for trial, as do his state law claims against the city for assault, battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Summary judgment was granted in favor of the defendants on Lynn’s claim of municipal liability and Americans with Disabilities Act claim against the city as well as his state law claims against Huddlestone and Challis.


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