Tasered Granny Sues Town

Cops say 87-year-old threatened them with knife
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 30, 2010 1:20 AM CDT
Asked by reporters if the the Taser hurt, Varney said, "Well, that's for me to know and you to find out.”   (AP Photo/Khampha Bouaphanh, File)

(Newser) – An 87-year-old Oklahoma grandmother Tasered by police while she was hooked up to an oxygen machine in bed is suing the town of El Reno. Lona Varner is seeking at least $75,000, AP reports. Cops were called to Varner's home by her grandson, who told them she was suicidal, according to police. An officer used the Taser when she pulled a kitchen knife out from under her pillow and threatened cops with it, police said.

Varner—who served as a civilian volunteer on hospital ships in the Pacific during WWII—told police: "If you try and get the knife I will stab you and kill you. I killed four Japs in World War II, and I would not bat an eye killing you,” according to the police report. She was treated in a local hospital for burns and then held in a psychiatric ward for 6 days. Her lawyer says police treated the frail woman brutally, ripping the flesh on her arms as they grabbed her.

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