Epileptic man mistaken for drug abuser beaten by Indianapolis police, lawsuit claims

Randy Lynn jailed on 3 charges, later dropped

INDIANAPOLIS - A seizure patient has filed a lawsuit against the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, claiming officers beat and arrested him after mistaking his symptoms for being high on drugs.

In his federal civil rights lawsuit, Randy Lynn of Indianapolis claims he suffered an epileptic seizure after shoveling snow from a sidewalk in the 2500 block of West Washington Street on Feb. 2, 2011. He fell to the ground and suffered a bloody nose, prompting paramedics to be called.

When IMPD officers arrived, Lynn's lawsuit claims officers immediately assumed that he was intoxicated.

He accuses Officer Timothy Huddleston of forcing him back to the ground during a struggle, and then Officer Nathan Challis is accused of using a Taser to jolt him three times during his arrest.  

Lynn also accuses the officers of striking him on the head several times, while shocking him with a Taser on the neck, the lower back and his leg.

His lawsuit claims he was entirely unaware of what was going on due to his medical condition.

The man's sister, who works nearby, tried to advise officers that he was suffering from epilepsy and not under the influence of drugs, but the lawsuit says officers ignored her.

Lynn was booked into jail on charges of resisting arrest, public intoxication and a felony count of disarming a police officer.  

Lynn's lawyer wrote that he never knowingly tried to grab the officer's Taser during the struggle, and the charges against Lynn were dismissed on Nov. 28, 2012.

His lawsuit alleges false arrest, assault, false imprisonment and excessive force by the IMPD officers.

Lynn's lawsuit also claims that IMPD failed to properly train its officers on how to recognize and deal with patients who are suffering from epileptic seizures.

The city was served with notice of the lawsuit on Monday morning.

An IMPD spokeswoman said the department does not comment on pending litigation.

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