Cops Sued for Killing Guy, 95, With Bean Bag Gun
Police claimed he was belligerent; family says he couldn't have posed threat
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2014 12:32 PM CDT
The family of John Wrana is suing Chicago-area police officers for excessive force in the 95-year-old's death.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – When 95-year-old John Wrana refused to go to the hospital last year for medical treatment, cops in suburban Chicago shot him with "five rounds of bean bag cartridges from a 12 gauge shotgun within a distance of approximately only six to eight feet," according to a lawsuit filed last week against the village of Park Forest and six police officers. The medical examiner later ruled that the World War II vet died that day of blunt force trauma from the bean bag rounds, and now Wrana's stepdaughter is suing for wrongful death, excessive force, and a litany of other charges, reports Courthouse News. "He did not deserve to be treated in that respect, and certainly none of our elderly people ever do," Sharon Mangerson, who is suing for $5 million, tells WLS-TV.

Police told the Chicago Tribune at the time that Wrana had threatened them with a cane, a shoehorn, and a "12-inch butcher-type kitchen knife." Wrana's stepdaughter, however, says that he needed "a cane or a walker to stand up, support him, and to walk," and was in no way a threat. Wrana, a resident at a senior living facility, "was alone in his private residence and had committed no crime by refusing to be transported to the hospital. Defendants were without lawful authority to enter his residence, and there was no immediate lawful reason to implement any police action," states the complaint. A lawyer for the cops counters that "the level of force that [they] chose was exactly appropriate for the circumstances," and that police were "trying to subdue him without causing him serious injury or death."