Sunday, August 18, 2013

Is this any way to treat a WW II Veteran?

John Wrana, just shy of his 96th birthday, was angry and agitated.
We contacted experts who deal with the elderly, to ask them how best to calm down an old man like him.
And not one suggested you'd do it the way Park Forest police did last month:
First jolting him with a Taser, and then following that up by shooting him in the guts with a bean-bag round fired from a shotgun at around 300 feet per second.
Try as we might, we could find no experts to tell us that Tasing and firing bean-bag rounds at an old, old man was the preferred method for handling him.
"Validate, reassure, redirect," Keren Rosenbaum-Cooks, a licensed clinical social worker in New York, told us. "Be calm as possible. … Giving someone a gentle, reassuring touch can really go a long way to try and calm a person down."
There are many unanswered questions about why John Wrana, an Army veteran of World War II, was killed.
He lived at Victory Centre, an assisted-living facility in south suburban Park Forest. His trouble started when he refused medical attention for a urinary infection. Paramedics were called, and they summoned police, who said later that Wrana had been threatening people with a 2-foot-long metal shoehorn and a kitchen knife. Police responded with an extraordinary level of force. Wrana died in a hospital of internal bleeding hours later, on July 27.
Rosenbaum-Cooks trains family caregivers and professionals to deal with Alzheimer's patients. Wrana, according to his family and lawyer for his estate, did not suffer from Alzheimer's. But she is an expert in dealing with this type of agitation among the elderly.
She says she teaches her pupils to "de-escalate a situation before it becomes an emergency. I counsel families and professionals to really try to look at what is the source of the agitation."
A lawyer for the Wrana family disputes the police report of the knife, saying Wrana didn't have such a weapon.
But even if Wrana had a broadsword, the issue is this: He was almost 96, wobbly on his feet. Any two police officers worth their badges should be able to safely disarm an old guy. If they can't handle a man in his 90s, how could they possibly handle a street thug?
"The mantra for people in direct care for seniors is 'least restrictive means possible,'" said Charles Golbert, the deputy Cook County public guardian in charge of the adult guardianship program. "The necessity for officers to fire a bean bag at someone in assisted living — I can't even imagine."
Illinois State Police are investigating the circumstances of Wrana's death, but that's routine when police outside of Chicago are involved in a homicide.
When the investigation is complete, the report is to be sent to the Cook County state's attorney's office for a review to determine whether criminal charges should be filed. As of Friday, the Cook County medical examiner's office had not completed the final autopsy report.
But a preliminary report ruled that Wrana died as the result of tremendous blow to the abdomen caused by the bean-bag round.
Such rounds are most often used for crowd control. Traveling at such a high rate of speed, a bean-bag round (often the size of a silver dollar) can knock down strong young men protesting in a street.
Young men full of power and blind with anger would be stopped by such a round. Imagine what one would do the abdomen of a weak, old guy.
General guidelines for the weapon suggest one should never be fired 15 feet or less from the target.
But Nicholas Grapsas, the lawyer for the Wrana family, believes police may have fired well within that distance, shooting from the door of Wrana's room, striking the old man as he sat in a chair.


  1. Anonymous8/18/2013

    Not surprising. The new elites in our world are largely draft evaders and or dodgers in 60's and early 70's. In our community scores of guys(many politicians) went into teaching and stayed until lottery or when draft ended. Some with phony CO claims and perhaps the most egregious were the clout payoff scammers into the Guard or reserves.In short,the U,S. has little regard for honored vets. How can one honor someone when your a weasel. Windy City vets just had an event and many honorable men there for sure.

  2. Anonymous8/19/2013

    Make formal complaints to the ADA and Inspector General!

    1-800-514-0301 (voice)


  3. Anonymous8/21/2013

    I'd like to know more about the attorney Mr. Grapsas. Is he a relative of the reporter or is he genuine.

  4. Anonymous8/22/2013

    This is no way to treat any 96-year-old man. You also have to wonder at the caliber of Park Forest police.

    1. Anonymous8/26/2013

      black officer abusing old White man??

  5. I feel bad for the retired people who worked hard all their life. They r the ones who built America. They will be blasted financially by people who r able bodied and refuse to work and r now getting free healthcare. spider vein treatment chicago

  6. If a person is WW2 veteran and is very old then he should be treated well.