Two men are suing the village of Fox Lake and members of its police department, saying they were falsely arrested in connection with the 2015 investigation into the death of Fox Lake police officer Lt. Joe Gliniewicz.
Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Ramos filed the lawsuit Thursday in federal court. It also names as defendants George Filenko, former commander of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force; a Buffalo Grove police detective, and other unknown officers with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.
A similar lawsuit was filed last year in March by two men who said they were detained by police in connection with Gliniewicz’s death.
Gonzalez and Ramos said they were at a hotel in Colorado when they saw their rented home on the news with police officers surrounding it shortly after Gliniewicz’s Sept. 1, 2015 death, according to the suit.
Gliniewicz was found dead of a gunshot wound after calling in a report that he saw three suspicious subjects at an abandoned concrete plant in Fox Lake. The death sparked a massive manhunt, national media coverage and a hero’s funeral for Gliniewicz.
Investigators eventually determined that Gliniewicz committed suicide, but staged his death to make it appear that he was murdered. It was later found that he had stolen thousands of dollars from a youth police group he led.
Gonzalez and Ramos cut short their trip to Colorado and came home, the suit said. After returning home, police searched their home without probable cause, forced them to submit to DNA swabbing and “were paraded in front of news cameras,” causing both men to suffer emotional distress.
The suit claims that Cmdr. Filenko had reason to believe Gliniewicz’s death was a suicide from the outset, but allowed the arrest of Gonzalez and Ramos to proceed.
The suit seeks unspecified damages and claims police falsely arrested the two men, illegally searched their home and accuses the Fox Lake Police Department of misconduct and lax supervision of officers.
Messages left with village and police officials in Fox Lake were not returned.