Cop Roughed Up Ex-Nun Visiting Nursing Home, Lawsuit Alleges

A 76-year-old former nun says she was roughed up by Columbus Police after refusing to leave a nursing home she was visiting, according to a federal lawsuit she filed.  The woman, Elizabeth Bormann, had driven 540 miles to visit a 96-year-old friend at the nursing clinic, but when she got there she found out the man’s legal guardian had removed her from the list of approved guests. She insisted she wouldn’t leave until she could tell her friend herself she was removed from the list. From the local TV station, ABC6:

Police say the removal was a response to a series of scams perpetrated by multiple women that had cost the man more than $500,000. 
Investigators do not suspect Bormann of involvement in the scams…

Columbus Police Officer Theodis N. Turner, III was dispatched to the nursing home, where he instructed Bormann to leave the facility. 

That, according to Bormann, is when the situation became violent.

"He said to me, 'I've had enough of you,' and he charged into me, basically, and somehow or the other, charged into my side, took my arm.  It all happened so fast.

"Before I know it, I was down on my knees and then, of course, I urinated, and I started a little crying, and pretty much I was just stunned.

"I was humiliated. I do believe that I've become a victim. It just was such a surprise and such a shock."

The police account:

[Police spokesman Sgt. Rich] Weiner tells ABC 6 Investigates a witness filled out a statement for police, saying the officer gave Bormann every opportunity to avoid handcuffs, but that "she resisted him the whole time."

Officer Turner tells a similar story in his official action-response report, which he was required to complete due to his admitted use of force.

In the report, Turner wrote that Bormann was not responding to commands, refusing to move, pulling away, and wrestling with the officer, prompting him to physically place her on the ground.

The officer called for back-up and a female officer arrived:

Bormann claims that Officer Turner eventually called for backup, and a female officer soon arrived, then sarcastically asked, "Now this is why you call for backup?"

That female officer removed the handcuffs and issued a criminal trespassing ticket to Bormann.  She was not arrested, but Bormann later pleaded guilty and paid a fine for the misdemeanor charge.

Bormann is not disputing the trespassing charge, but claims lasting physical injuries and a violation of her civil rights in the encounter with the officer. Police say Bormann never filed a complaint with the department before filing the lawsuit, so did not investigate the officer's admitted use of force.

Reason on police brutality

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  • Restoras||

    Stop resisting!

  • Translucent Chum||

    Brides of Christ, assemble!

  • Randian||

    Hey, give me a Twitter hat tip!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A good peace officer knows to always escalate the situation.

  • ||

    Pretty much.

  • ||

    Why are cops so easily pissed off?

    The female officer in this story seemed perfectly capable of handling the situation, cite the old lady and let the threat of a large fine convince her to leave when told.

  • SugarFree||

    They are giant, armed three-year-olds. They throw tantrums when people tell them "no" or have the wrong flavor of juice box. But instead of holding their breath or crying, they act out physically.

  • SugarFree||

    Went looking for an "Officer Baby" image. This is barf-at-first-sight, but on the other hand it really is a truly terror-inducing costume, so it might be perfect for Halloween.

  • Charlotte Sometimes||

    Is there anything you can't find a picture of, SF?!

  • ||

    Himself looking good?

  • SugarFree||

    Episiarch's self-loathing. It's so large, there's no camera that can fit it into frame.

  • Loki||

    RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!!!!!!

    I think the job itself attracts jerks.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Somebody call Harvey Keitel!

  • ||

    "Leave it to the Catholic Church. Girls get raped every day, and now we're putting up 50 G's just 'cause these girls wear fuckin' penguin suits."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    This seems to be poorly worded. I assume the list is some sort of list of allowed visitors?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Edited to look like a sucker!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Someone roughed up a 76 year-old nun? That sounds like something Lucy should get in on, too.

  • Mo' $parky||

    She's a former nun. I'm assuming that means that at some point she got some.

  • ||

    Not easy enough. Lucy likes her targets to be real easy.

  • Randian||

    "Boys, you gotta learn not to talk to nuns that way."

  • ||

    "Your women. I want to buy your women. The little girl, your daughters...sell them to me. Sell me your children!"

  • ||

    Sounds to me like somebody went to Catholic school and decided it was payback time. Are members of the Columbus Police Department issued rulers?

  • BelowTheRim||

    As a Columbus, OH resident and native I must say I feel shame this kind of shit happens in my backyard.

    No doubt pig brutality happens everywhere, just stings more when you hear outside reports of it happening at your home.

    I'd love get a reaction out of Mayor Michael Coleman, who, the genius that he is, was busy lobbying for NBA teams to come to CBUS earlier this summer.

    Yup, we have that kind of local government here...Hoooooray!

  • Loki||

    Look on the bright side: if NBA teams do come to CBUS this summer, the local crime rate will skyrocket which will mean the pigs won't have any free time to beat up on elderly ex-nuns.

  • Nephilium||

    Can we send you the Cavs?

  • Randian||

    Has he been with Kim Kardashian?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Hey, at least they didn't shoot any random bystanders this time.

  • mr lizard||

    In good news, just about every person I stumble across in my adventures is pretty dead set against dating a cop. Dude and dudette, no difference. Although I don't have any data from our sweeter brethren out there, but I'll find out.

  • Loki||

    Police say Bormann never filed a complaint with the department before filing the lawsuit, so did not investigate the officer's admitted use of force.

    So... they only investigate use of force if someone complains? And how often do people file complaints? Considering most people are scared shitless of the police I'm gonna go with "not many". Seems like they should at least do some kind of follow up after any and all admitted uses of force, but of course that might cause a small sliver accountability to be introduced into the system, so we all know the likelyhood of that happening.

  • sloopyinca||

    She refused to leave the private property. She refused. At some point, an officer has the right to force her to leave.

    Now, it looks at first blush that this officer overreacted. He should have picked her up and removed her from the property and barred her re-entry, but he had every right, obligation even, to enforce the private property rights of the owner of the home and the guardian of the person she came to visit.

    I'm less outraged at this than I am about many other cases. Equal protection means equal protection. Yes, she was an old lady, but we always clamor for cops to treat everyone equally. Well, she should have complied with the lawful order to leave when the property owner requested.

    I hate misuse and abuse at the hands of the police, but I do not see how enforcing private property rights of a property owner against a trespasser falls into either category.

  • Randian||

    I guess it is a good thing the complaint says 'excessive' force, rather than 'use of justifiable force', then.

  • R C Dean||

    I do not see how enforcing private property rights of a property owner against a trespasser falls into either category

    I think it depends on exactly how they are enforced. Dousing them with gasoline and tossing a match probably would be over the line, yes?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Should have just rapped her knuckles with a ruler until she left.

  • sloopyinca||

    Of course it would. And I said at first blush it looks like he overreacted. But, I think he had a right to remove her from the property. It sounds like he tried and tried to do this (she isn't contending that point), but she refused to leave.

    At some point, he has a right to initiate force to get her to comply. I'm not totally convinced he acted out of line in how he attempted this. But in my opinion, he should have picked her up and carried her to the edge of the property and sat her back down.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    or arrested her.

  • sloopyinca||

    Looks like he tried and tried to do so. At some point, she really is resisting arrest. I think she crossed that threshold at some point. She apparently does as well.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Don't know the situation, but if she's criminally trespassing, the general thing would be to arrest her, unless (I suppose) the owner didn't want to press charges.

  • Randian||

    Looks like he said "I am tired of you" in typical highminded cop speak and tackled someone.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If you go by her account. There *are* other witnesses, and presumably they'll all be testifying.

  • sloopyinca||

    FTA: Bormann admits she was told to leave the nursing home, but says she refused to leave the front lobby until she was allowed to personally deliver the news of her removal to her friend.

    "I told them that I needed to see (him) because I needed to tell (him) that my visitation had been (canceled). And of course he was very upset, but I needed to tell him," Bormann told ABC 6 Investigates.

    So she admits to trespassing, pleads guilty and there are witnesses that corroborate the cop's story that he only resorted to force after she continued to resist over and over.

    I'm sorry, but the police officer had ever right to physically remove her at the request of the property owner. She doesn't get to set the terms on how and when she stops trespassing.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Not feeling all that bad for her. Playing the I'm an ex-nun sympathy card to bilk taxpayers cause she pissed her pants throwing a temper tantrum. If she is really an ex-nun. Could be one of the con artist that's been fleecing this dude. Do nuns carry nun id cards? Not condoning the cops incompetance but meh.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There's a large ex-nun population. Some of them, as laypeople, stayed in some kind of serving-the-public job; who knows what this one was up to.

    Some of these "ex-nuns" are technically nuns-on-the-run, never discharged from their vows but just walked away.

  • sloopyinca||

    nuns-on-the-run

    Eric Idle...for shame!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm just assuming that quitting the nun biz was her idea, because that's generally how it goes. But I suppose she could have been de-nunned.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "2 decades as a nun and 18 years as a teacher," says the story.

    Doesn't say whether these two careers overlapped.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But "ex-teacher arrested" or "ex-teacher sues" doesn't have the same zing.

  • Randian||

    Wow, the cop apologists are showing their true colors today.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There are different accounts and no immediate way to decide which account is the real one.

    I'm interested in why the media clearly sees the ex-nun angle as more sexy than the "retired teacher" angle.

  • Randian||

    There are different accounts in *every* story, but it seems to me that this is the only time that your typical Reasonista is taking that into account.

  • sloopyinca||

    Yeah, you really got me. I'm nothing but a cop apologist who loves to see old ex-nuns or ex-teachers piss their pants when a cop fucks them up.

    Sorry, but that's not the case and that's not what happened here. Trespassing is trespassing, and if someone refuses to leave a property-owner's building on their terms, then that property owner has a right to have the police eject her. And if she continues to resist that removal, they have a right to physically remove her and/or arrest her. The trespasser does not have the right to set the terms under which they will leave the owner's property.

  • Randian||

    What about the words "excessive force" escapes you exactly?

  • sloopyinca||

    The fact that it was contradicted by every other person there and the fact that the lady didn't deny disobeying a lawful order to leave the property.

    Oh, and her guilty plea.

    Jesus, man. You ought to know by now how I feel about cops abusing authority by now. It's just that this lady was flatly in the wrong and the cop was in the right.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    Sounds like you have the right of it.

  • sloopyinca||

    Also, no way in hell am I pissing off a cop whose initials are TNT. It's just asking for trouble. :-O

  • solly989||

    Dumb bitch needs to check her self. Being a 76-yr old nun doesn't allow you anything extra in life. I'm sure this cop had better things to do like beat on the local thugs who really do resist with violence.

  • Jimbo BTR||

    Wow. A lot of you sound as callous and stupid as the police officer.

    A truly "reason"-able person would have taken her name, asked the resident in question whether they wished to see her and, if they did, amended the list to include her.

    It sucks that we live in a society full of officious idiots and confrontation assholes.

  • Jimbo BTR||

    Sorry, I meant to say "confrontational".

  • sloopyinca||

    A truly "reason"-able person would have taken her name, asked the resident in question whether they wished to see her and, if they did, amended the list to include her.

    So you would have ignored the rights of the property owner and/or the legal guardian of the person being visited?

    Why do you so against private property rights or the rule of law?

  • sloopyinca||

    do=are

  • ||

    Incredibly dumb comment, Jimbo. Does it entirely escape you just why the resident might have had a legal guardian in the first place?

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