Why did Chicago cops gun down 95-year-old war vet John Wrana?
CHICAGO---Apparently, all Obamacare references aside, refusing medical treatment these days can cost you your life in America.
In an update on a story posted last week, on July 26, a doctor reportedly told John Wrana, a former U.S. Air Corps sergeant in World War II, if he survived surgery, he would likely be put on life support. The elderly man refused the operation, and paramedics attempted to involuntarily transport him for medical treatment. He was sitting in a chair, holding a cane and a shoe horn when police arrived at the Victory Centre senior living facility located just south of Chicago.
Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, and in need of a walker to move about, cops came through the door of his retirement home with a TASER and a shotgun.
First they TASERed 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 Illinois State Police are investigating the horrific incident but won't comment, and neither will the Park Forest police pending the outcome of the inquiry.
The Park Forest police "version" is that on the night of July 26, John Wrana, a resident of the Victory Centre senior living facility, threatened staff and paramedics with a 2-foot-long metal shoehorn and a metal cane. The police statement neglects to mention that the old man also used a walker, at least according to photographs supplied by Grapsas.
"Attempts were made verbally to have the resident comply with demands to drop the articles, to no avail," the police statement reads. "The resident then armed himself with a 12-inch butcher type kitchen knife."
But lawyer Grapsas says that Wrana's family never saw a knife in his room and that staff also told him Wrana didn't have such a knife.
"So where did the knife come from?" Grapsas asked.
The police statement leaves the impression that the staff was under threat, leaving police with no choice other than to shoot him.
But according to Maria Oliva, an executive with Pathway Senior Living, the staff was kept out of the room after police arrived. So there was no imminent threat to staff.
"The staff was not inside once the police were on the scene," Oliva told us. "At different times the staff were in there, but not when they were called. They (the police) were in charge at that point."
Police said there had been threats made against the staff. But Grapsas said he was told that staff begged to be allowed to try to calm down the old man.
"If there were threats to the staff, why did the staff want to intervene and say, 'Let us handle this; we'll get him calmed down'?" he asked.
Grapsas says he was told that police used a riot shield to come through the door before shooting bean-bag rounds at the old man as he sat in his chair.
"At some point, I'm told there were between five and seven police officers, they went back to the room with a riot shield in hand, entered the door and shot him with a shotgun that contained bean-bag rounds," Grapsas said.
Sharon Mangerson, 74, doesn't see her stepfather as dangerous.
Wrana and Mangerson's mother, Helen, were married for more than 30 years. Helen died in 2005. So Wrana lived with Mangerson in the south suburbs until his health — and her health — began to fail.
She said he was a fiercely independent member of the greatest generation, honorably discharged as a sergeant after serving in India and Burma during the war.
"He was a very vital 95-year-old, let me tell you. He still played cards. He taught the 70-year-olds how to play gin rummy," she said in an interview. "I used to admire him so much because he was able to keep doing those type of things. As independent as they come, trust me."
On the night of the incident, he wound up at Advocate Christ Medical Center. The doctor was on the phone with Mangerson, telling her that even if Wrana survived surgery, he'd likely be on life support. Wrana wanted to talk to her. The doctor held the phone up to his ear, she said.
"He just said, 'Thank you for everything you've done for me. I love you and goodbye,'" Mangerson recalled, her voice cracking. "That was it."
Will the family ever get an explanation?
"I want answers," she said. "I want someone held accountable."
The Cook County medical examiner's office recently released the cause of death; Wrana died from hemoperitoneum, a bleeding in the stomach area from the blunt force trauma of the beanbag gun.
Wrana’s caretaker and stepdaughter, Sharon Mangerson, does not trust the police report of events and has since hired an attorney to investigate the matter.
“This was a literal war hero,” says family attorney Nicholas Grapsas. “It’s outright insulting when you have such lack of respect for someone who served our country to the extent he did.”
Wrana was just a few weeks short of his 96th birthday.
Do you think this is a clear case of police power abuse? Or is this an example of the kind of future treatment to be expected when government mandated healthcare kicks in the beginning of next year with ObamaCare? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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