Excerpted from CHICAGO TRIBUNE When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he’d end this way?
Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police.
First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.
“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.
Police say they tased John Wrana and fired beanbag rounds at him at a retirement home last Friday after he threatened staff and officers with a metal cane and 2-foot metal shoehorn, then grabbed a 12-inch knife. Wrana died hours later of internal bleeding caused by the shots.
But a family attorney said relatives never saw a knife in his room and that staff told them Wrana didn’t have such a knife. Nicholas Grapsas also said he was told police used a riot shield to come through the door before shooting the beanbag rounds as Wrana sat in a chair.
Why did cops kill this 95-year-old in walker?