The family of a 95-year-old man who died after a confrontation with Park Forest police last summer has sued, saying police overreacted when they fired beanbag shots and user a Taser on the decorated World War II veteran.
The family of John Wrana says in its $5 million federal civil rights suit that the department overreacted to the situation, and with his advanced age and failing health, Wrana posed no real threat to the officers.
"Why they chose to confront him in this way, I have no idea. I can't comprehend it. It has been a very painful process to relive this over and over again," his stepdaughter Sharon Mangerson said.
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Wrana was a patient at the Victory Center Nursing home when he refused to go to the hospital for a urinary tract infection on July 26, 2013.
Police were called and eventually used a Taser and a beanbag shotgun to remove him by force, after they say he threatened officers with a butcher knife. He died the next day.
Park Forest Police Officer Craig Taylor, 43, is already charged with reckless conduct over the confrontation, for having struck Wrana with five shotgun beanbag rounds as he and other officers tried taking him into custody.
"Officer Taylor fired the five rounds from his shotgun from a distance of only 6 to 8 feet from where Mr. Wrana was standing," the family's lawyer Nicholas Grapsas said.
"Unfortunately, what the Japanese military failed to do to Mr. Wrana during the war, the Park Forest Police Department succeeded in doing 70 years later in the twilight of was, until then, an extremely wonderful life," he added.
Park Forest officials say they do not comment on any pending or ongoing litigation.