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Illinois police killed 95-year-old WWII vet with bean bag gun: lawsuit

By Tom Boggioni
Monday, June 23, 2014 16:50 EDT
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The stepdaughter of a 95-year-old WWII Chicago-area veteran has filed a lawsuit in federal court against six police officers accused of killing her father with bean bag rounds after he refused to go to the hospital, according to Courthouse News Service.

Sharon Mangerson, stepdaughter of John Wrana Jr. is suing officers Clifford Butz, Michael Baugh, Craig Taylor, Lloyd Elliot, Charlie Hoskins and Mitch Greer, along with the Village of Park Forest over the incident which occurred on July 26, 2013.

According to the suit, officers were called to Victory Centre of Park Forest Assisted Living Center to help subdue Wrana after he refused to leave his room to go to the hospital to receive treatment for what the center’s medical staff believed was a urinary tract infection.

Responding to the 911 call, officers were unable to persuade Wrana to come out of his room and, after conferring outside of his room, the officers decided to take him by force.

According to the complaint, Officer Craig Taylor fired fired “five rounds of bean bag cartridges from a 12 gauge shotgun within a distance of approximately only six to eight feet from Mr. Wrana, far less than the distance allowed for discharging that shotgun, and, consequently, savagely wounding and killing Mr. Wrana.”

The lawsuit continued, “Mr. Wrana bled to death as a result of the shotgun wounds inflicted upon him by defendants. The Cook County Medical Examiner ruled that Mr. Wrana’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to his abdomen as a result of shots fired from a bean bag shotgun.”

The complaint explains that bean bag cartridges can travel at approximately 190 miles an hour, and that the manufacturer warns that “shots to the head, neck thorax, heart or spine can result in fatal injury.”

After shooting the elderly veteran, the officers handcuffed him, took photos of his injuries, and placed him in a four-point restraint before transporting him to the hospital.

Park Forest police officials claim that Wrana brandished a knife or cane, which necessitated the officers’ response.

Wrana’s stepdaughter claims that Wrana needed “a cane or a walker to stand up, support him, and to walk,” and — at 95-years-old — could not have been a threat to the officers.

The lawsuit seeks punitive damages for violation of due process, excessive force, unreasonable seizure, failure to train and supervise, conspiracy, wrongful death, assault and battery, and emotional distress.

[Wrana image, family handout]

Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni
Tom Boggioni is based in the quaint seaside community of Pacific Beach in less quaint San Diego. He writes about politics, media, culture, and other annoyances. Mostly he spends his days at the beach gazing at the horizon waiting for the end of the world, or the sun to go down. Whichever comes first.
 
 
 
 
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