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Wire: Illinois residents can sleep safer now that police have tased, beanbagged 95-year-old veteran to death


Deer Park
Deer Park, Illinois — photo by David Wilson

Did you feel as though an intangible but perceptible cloud of safety and serenity descended on your community sometime last week? Probably this is because you live in Park Forest, Illinois, where local police successfully tased and beanbagged a 95-year-old World War II veteran to death last week for being ornery and refusing to put down a kitchen knife. Or maybe there was no kitchen knife and it was actually a shoehorn, who can be sure.

But yes, thankfully, residents of Park Forest can sleep more soundly knowing that they are safe from the menace of cranky 95-year-olds thanks to Park Forest’s best and brightest!

The [95-year-old man] described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention [from caregivers at his assisted living facility]. The paramedics were called. [When he still refused their care] they brought in the Park Forest police.

The police arrived carrying a taser, a riot shield, and a gun capable of firing bean bag rounds, because this is the appropriate response for dealing with an elderly man at a nursing home who is refusing medical care.

First [the cops] tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. John Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

We will admit that we at Wonkette had never thought of physically beating anyone into accepting medical care, but it sounds promising so we will try this next time our significant other has a headache and refuses to take Tylenol or whatever. We have no riot shield, taser, or bean bag gun but we’ll think of something!

The Park Forest police version is that on the night of July 26, John Wrana, a resident of the Victory Centre senior living facility, threatened staff and paramedics with a 2-foot-long metal shoehorn and a metal cane. The police statement neglects to mention that the old man also used a walker, at least according to photographs supplied by Grapsas.

“Attempts were made verbally to have the resident comply with demands to drop the articles, to no avail,” the police statement reads. “The resident then armed himself with a 12-inch butcher type kitchen knife.”

But [the family’s] lawyer says that Wrana’s family never saw a knife in his room and that staff also told him Wrana didn’t have such a knife.

“So where did the knife come from?” [he] asked.

Pfft who cares where the knife came from? This is America, and we unquestioningly owe fealty and loyalty to the police, duh. So when they say “jump” you best say “how high,” and if you’re in a walker and old and enfeebled, well, you maybe should have thought of that before.

By Kris E. Benson

[Chicago Tribune]


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