Fox Lake men say they were detained illegally during Gliniewicz investigation

  • Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz

    Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz Photo courtesy Fox Lake police department

Updated 8/18/2017 2:19 PM

Two Fox Lake men have filed a lawsuit claiming they were illegally detained by police in the days after Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was found dead in 2015.

Filed Thursday in federal court, the lawsuit names the village of Fox Lake, officers with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force and former task force chief George Filenko as defendants. However, it incorrectly labels Filenko as a commander with the Fox Lake police department, and lists the task force as an unknown police agency.


Filenko, who served as chief of the major crimes task force during the Gliniewicz investigation, and Fox Lake Mayor Donny Schmit said they could not comment on pending litigation.

According to the court documents, plaintiffs Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Ramos were in Colorado when Gliniewicz was found dead in a swampy area near the east end of Honing Road on Sept 1, 2015.

They left Colorado after they saw the Fox Lake house they rented on the news, and reporters claiming Gliniewicz's "killers" were inside, the court document reads.

After returning home, Gonzalez and Ramos were detained by police, the house was searched without authorization, and the two were paraded in front of news cameras, the court document reads.

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They claim they suffered emotional distress from the incident and are requesting an unspecified amount of punitive damages.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed against Fox Lake and the task force over the handling of the Gliniewicz investigation.

Most recently, a civil rights, class-action lawsuit was filed in April by three men against the village and task force investigators alleging they were unconstitutionally detained as potential murder suspects in the hours after Gliniewicz's death.

The federal civil rights lawsuit and the most recent suit claim investigators should have suspected early on Gliniewicz killed himself, and he did not die from a fatal line-of-duty shooting it was set up to appear.

The most recent suit claims, "The failure to supervise and discipline -- to allow its officers to act with impunity -- is what led to the clearly unconstitutional detentions of perhaps over 100 individuals after Gliniewicz's death."

Dozens of police swarmed Fox Lake after Gliniewicz was found dead in a wooded area from a gunshot wound to his chest. Shortly before the fatal shooting, Gliniewicz radioed dispatchers to report he was following three suspicious individuals.

A two-month investigation revealed Gliniewicz had shot himself and made it appear he was murdered, in hopes his death would prevent disclosure of his thefts from a police youth program. Until then, police treated his death as a homicide and questioned several potential suspects.

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