A 62-year-old woman has filed a federal lawsuit alleging she was beaten and wrongfully arrested by Lake County sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Medrano in 2016 outside her Lakes of the Four Seasons home.

Geralyn Klein claims Medrano slammed her body on two vehicles Sept. 18, 2016, while she was handcuffed outside her home at 2387 Four Seasons Parkway, according to court records. 

The woman, then 60, said Medrano broke her arm during the attack. She claims Medrano and Four Seasons security guards ignored her complaints and ransacked her home while searching for her son.

The lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 in the U.S. District Court in Hammond.

Klein and her son, Brandon Klein, are seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages for excessive force, failure to intervene, conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims.

Medrano, 35, previously was indicted in June 2017 on allegations he raped a woman between Jan. 10, 2013, and June 30, 2014. The case was dismissed in March after his defense team raised questions about the credibility of journal entries made by the woman.

The officer also was suspended for five days this summer after he posted a brief video of himself listening to music with a Lake County Jail inmate.

Emiliano Perez, a spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff's Department, said Monday he forwarded questions about the allegations to the office's legal department.

Craig Philip, director of Lakes of the Four Seasons' Public Safety Department, did not respond Monday to a request for comment.

The complaint

Geralyn Klein said her son sprinted through their home about 2:45 p.m. Sept. 18, 2016, and out the back door, apparently fleeing from Medrano, who was “enraged and red-faced” in the family's backyard, according to the complaint. 

She said Medrano tried entering her home, but she had locked her door after her son fled. About five minutes later, she went outside to speak with Medrano, who told her she was under arrest for interfering with police business.

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She said she gave Medrano her cellphone and keys, but told the officer she did not know where her son went after fleeing the house. Medrano allegedly handcuffed the woman and slammed her twice on top of her vehicle, the complaint states. He allegedly walked her down the driveway, and slammed her twice more into her son's vehicle.

The woman said her arm was broken and the pain caused her to momentarily lose vision, the complaint states. She said three Lakes of the Four Seasons security officers — Kenneth Green, John Latta and Larry Hunt — arrived at the scene, but they did not offer her assistance, the complaint states.

She said Medrano kicked open her front door and, with Green's assistance, ransacked her house searching for Brandon Klein, the complaint states. Three more officers then arrived at the scene.

Geralyn Klein eventually was transported to Franciscan Health Crown Point hospital.

She learned three days later a warrant was issued for her arrest, court records state. Medrano allegedly claimed in charging documents Klein tripped into the vehicle while attempting to flee, the complaint states.

Green allegedly corroborated the account, claiming he was present the entire time, according to the complaint. 

Geralyn Klein was charged with resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor, in Porter Superior Court, court records state. The state dismissed the case Aug. 4, 2017.

The defendants in the lawsuit include Medrano, Green, Latta, Hunt, former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich, Lake County and its Sheriff's Department, and Lakes of the Four Seasons and its public safety department.

The defendants have not filed their responses to the lawsuit.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.