Cop Charged in Death of 95-Year-Old Nursing Home Resident

zol87/Flickrzol87/FlickrThe events leading up to John Wrana's death read more like the treatment for a zany cop comedy than the makings of a real life tragedy. Cook County, Illinois, police were called to Wrana's nursing home last year when the 95-year-old World War II veteran resisted being taken to the hospital. When then cops arrived, Wrana was brandishing his cane and a shoehorn as weapons. 

That's when things turned surreal and tragic. Wrana picked up a kitchen knife, which officers ordered him to put down. Any reasonable person would know better than to use much physical force on an extremely elderly man defending himself with a shoehorn and a kitchen knife. But Officer Craig Taylor—who later said he thought the shoehorn was a machete—responded by shocking Wrana with a stun gun and pelting him with five rounds of bean bags fired from a shotgun.

Taylor's totally unreasonable and inappropriate use of force caused Wrana internal bleeding, from which he later died. 

Prosecutors said Taylor fired the beanbag rounds from somewhere between six and eight feet away, when the proper distance is 15 feet away at minimum. He also refused to allow nursing home staff to help, according to Wrana's family's attorney.

"Given the other viable options to resolve the matter and the number of shots fired at this senior citizen at close range in rapid succession, we believe this officer’s conduct to be reckless," Cook County State Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a statement.

Taylor was charged this morning with one count of reckless conduct, a Class 4 felony which would yield a maximum of three years in prison. 

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  • crazyfingers||

    "If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison."

    I'd say a paid vacation is much more likely.

  • Ted S.||

    Park County, Cook County -- close enough for government work.

    Or did you mean Park City, which seems to be in Lake County?

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    Gah. Cook county. Thanks.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    And the Park Forest area of it.

  • ||

    Cook county

    Ah. 'Nuff said.

    (anyone watching that Chicagoland show on CNN? I haven't seen any of it - from the previews it looks like something I wouldn't be able to stomach).

  • John||

    Murder gets you reckless conduct. Illinois is worse than Virginia. There murder gets a cop manslaughter. They don't even get that in Illinois.

    No matter how appalling a cop's behavior is and no matter how obvious it is that his actions caused someone's death, no cop is ever charged with murder. No even murder 2 much less murder 1.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Given the other viable options to resolve the matter and the number of shots fired at this senior citizen at close range in rapid succession, we believe this officer’s conduct to be reckless

    Malice aforethought seems more accurate. Give him 20 to life.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    I love the "other viable options" comment, which suggests that the options he used were still viable for the situation, but other, less reckless options existed. So he wasn't wrong, just not as right as he could have been. Gotta preserve the option to kill.

  • JW||

    SOLUTION MATRIX

    1. ESTABLISH DOMINANCE
    2. VIOLENT RESOLUTION
    3. GOTO 10

  • SusanM||

    C:\DOS\RUN

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Taylor was charged this morning with one count of reckless conduct, a Class 4 felony, and is expected to appear before a judge later today, according to The Chicago Tribune. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison.

    I'm sorry, is this supposed to make us feel like justice is being served?

    HE MURDERED A MAN!!!

  • John||

    Come on serious man, if I empty my service weapon into your chest that is just me being reckless. I mean sometimes things get out of hand.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Plus they didn't let the nursing home staff "interfere." Dear God. If anyone else shot someone and didn't allow medical staff to interfere it would be clear intent that they wanted the person dead.

  • sarcasmic||

    If any of the nursing staff had defied him he likely would have shot them as well.

  • Sunmonocle Backwards Tophat||

    Just for reference, two other class 4 felonies are aggravated assault and stalking. Possession of an Adderall pill without a prescription is a class 3 felony.

    Seems fair.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Jesus. How does a human being do something like that? It's like using that kind of force on an infant holding a steak knife.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    Don't give them ideas.

  • Almanian!||

    How does a human being do something like that?

    "Human Beings" don't. Cops do.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sadly, they are technically of the same species. They can breed with other humans and everything.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I should add that I have known cops (both of the ones I'm thinking of in particular now ex-cops) that were perfectly decent human beings, but I fear that cop culture is getting so out of whack that the better people in the profession are likely going to put an ex in front of their title like my friends did.

  • Paul.||

    It's become a self-selection problem. Cops are out of control, consequences come there none, out of control cops are then attracted to the job, rinse, repeat.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Like anything with that many people involved, there will always be decent people in their ranks. But that doesn't stop the profession as a whole from getting worse and worse. Kind of like politicians, teachers, lawyers, and plenty of other fields.

  • Loki||

    Kind of like politicians, teachers, lawyers

    Notice how with the exception of Lawyers those are all government employees (and in the case of DA's and public pretenders, so are lawyers, and it goes without saying that those who aren't employed by the government directly spend most of their time dealing with the government). Something tells me this isn't a coincidence.

  • Restoras||

    It's probably fair to say that a lot of lawyers benefit from more government as well. More laws, more regulations written by lawyers that require lawyers to understand....

  • Vampire||

    And they too are shielded from consequences. That's why they do this kind of stuff.

  • ||

    How does a human being do something like that?

    An ordinary person would have a very hard time living with himself after committing such a cowardly act, but I'm sure Mr. Taylor has enough people wearing the same little costume as him reassuring him that he "did the right thing." That'll help him set aside any budding feelings of guilt before they become too burdensome.

  • Doghouse Reilly||

    Reckless conduct? That's it? He tased and shot a man with beanbag rounds (well inside the minimum safe distance), then stopped the staff from assisting the poor man, and that's all he gets? Rest in Peace, Mr. Wrana. You survived WWII but not the police state.

  • Florida Man||

    If that old man didn't want to die he should have followed the lawful orders of a clearly uniformed member of law enforcement. Did the officer go a little too far? Maybe, but who are we to judge? We don't have a stressful job like these public servants and are not in a position to make split second decision about life and death. I say retrain him and put him back on the streets, otherwise it is a waste of a fine officer. Of course he should be offered grief counseling because I am certain the death of that old man will haunt him for years.

    /hth, surfing, smooches, troll meter, etc.

  • Andrew S.||

    You forgot to mention that under the same circumstances, no DA would ever charge a non-officer with murder.

    /derp

  • Florida Man||

    That was the most infuriating part. He would not recognize the double standard.

  • Almanian!||

    *golf clap*

    Top notch.

  • Florida Man||

    I thought about not tagging with the dumbphy sign to see how much hate I could get thrown at me and then I thought of rollo/tulips and decided better not.

  • Ted S.||

    You forgot "If the fact pattern as presented is correct", and "bigorati".

  • ||

    That's a good parody of a local newspaper commenter. In fact, I was able to find a pretty similar comment:

    Karol Rozanek · Top Commenter · Chicago, Illinois

    The cop used a bean bag (almost always non-deadly) against a guy that was holding a knife as the guy was moving towards the cop. Age is no excuse for moving toward a cop in a threatening manner with a knife in your hand. Sucks the bean bag ended up being deadly, but the cop had every intention of not killing this guy. If the cop wanted him dead, he would have used his real gun instead of bean bag rounds.

  • Florida Man||

    Wow. I should stand in that guys path and lay him out with brass knuckles. Then let's see how convincing "he was coming right for me!" Argument is for him.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Karol top commenter ignores the fact that medical staff was forbidden to "interfere". I don't doubt they'd have emptied a clip into the hapless orderly or nurse who was trying to resuscitate.

  • ||

    OoOoooooo...wreckless conduct!! That'll learn 'im!

    Also, he's a fucking moron.

  • John||

    Come on you big meanies. He reels really bad about this

    “He’s devastated,” Ekl said of Taylor, a married father of five. “This man has been a wonderful police officer…Today he was fingerprinted, he was handcuffed, he was hauled into court. He, his family, and the entire police department of Park Forest is just devastated by this.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....6945.story

    And to add insult to injury he was RORed, no bail. If he were not a cop, bail would have been in the tens of thousands and he would have rotted until he got the money.

  • Florida Man||

    I don't see have being processed is more stressful for cops. I would figure you know the routine so it would be less stressful. Other than the shock of realizing you might not slide on this one, unlike all your other crimes I mean.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not to mention, you've got to figure they get special treatment compared to other people accused of killing old people.

  • Florida Man||

    I'm pretty sure the whole time the processing officers were telling him "sorry I gotta do this" and "don't worry, everything will be alright" vs "I am not a goon!" Whilst being beating with a club.

  • gaoxiaen||

    If that's how they handle missed doctor appointments I'd sure as hell be moving out of that nursing home.

  • Ted S.||

    The cop wrecked the old guy's life, so I wouldn't say the conduct was wreckless at all.

  • ||

    His hospital visit was really important

  • Rebekah||

    Yeah... If I were his family I'd be almost as pissed at the nursing home staff for calling the cops. Isn't the right to refuse treatment a thing any more? How threatening can a 95 year old (sans firearm) realistically be that they felt they needed to get the police involved?

    This whole story is rife with WTF.

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    I thought it seemed really strange that the cops were called in the first place, too. But it was EMTs trying to take him to the hospital, so perhaps *they* called the cops, and not the nursing home staff.

  • Rebekah||

    Thanks for the reply. Doesn't the right to refuse treatment still apply though? Isn't forcibly removing someone who is not under arrest, I don't know, kidnapping?

  • Florida Man||

    Unless he was ruled mentally incomplete or a direct threat to himself or others, he still has the right to refuse treatment.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I agree with (I think RC) the commenter who said (about a year ago) that calling 911 now counts as initiating force against another.

  • R C Dean||

    Don't recall, but I'm happy to take credit.

    If the old guy had a guardian or another legally activated decisionmaker who consented to the transfer, then his remaining at the nursing home is technically trespass. So, yeah, you could call the cops for that, but I never go the trespass route until I get a court order that the patient do the transfer.

  • croaker||

    Was he in assisted living or in a nursing home. Generally when you're in a nursing home you've given up all your rights and the facility staff are in control. One of the numerous reasons I'll take myself out before going to a nursing home if at all possible.

  • Brett L||

    I miss the sockpuppet who pretended to be a cop. He should come back around and tell us how this cop used "non-lethal" weapons so therefore any murder or manslaughter charges should be right out. And how a grown man doesn't know the difference between a shoe horn and a "machete". Even granting that said officer doesn't know enough about knives to know that anything less than a foot long is definitely not a machete but is using the term to mean "a big fucking knife".

  • Andrew S.||

    Of all our trolls, Dunphy was my favorite.

    Was he the one who suggested that you should somehow know that the person banging down your door at 1 AM must be a cop?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Ahh, that was a classic thread: "Yes it is legal to carry a gun inside your home but if you hear someone banging on your door at 1am you shouldn't answer with that gun. Scumbag deserved to die."

    Man...Dunphy was a true fuckstick.

  • Restoras||

    Yes that was a classic thread. Dunphy is a total douche.

  • tarran||

    The person in civilian clothes in a tough part of town banging on your door at one AM...

    He never answered when I asked if conditions were so dangerous that the officers felt a need to be walking around with their guns drawn and at the ready, a private citizen in the same degree of danger was out of line to have a handgun in his hand with the safety on.

    That was a great example of the honorless cowardice that is the core of Dunphy's personality.

  • Loki||

    Did anyone ever figure out whose sock Dumbphy was?

    If I had to guess, I'd guess Tulpoo. It had a lot of the hallmarks of a Tulpoo sock: the claims of insider knowledge about the subject due to their profession (in this case, cops), the authoritah fellating, the over the top claims, etc.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I believe he was unique. And I believe he had LEO experience. I also (puts on tinfoil hat) believe he may have been a plant a la COINTELPRO...just sayin'

  • gaoxiaen||

    Don't shoot! I'm putting my shoes on.

  • ||

    That's not "reckless" conduct. That's flat out assault.

  • John||

    I know this is wrong of me because I don't agree with hate crime statutes but I can't help wishing the feds would come in and over file civil rights charges since the victim was white and he is black.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Do hate crimes statutes work in that direction? I thought it was okay to kill white males. I mean, it's murder and all still, but it's not hateful murder.

  • John||

    They do if you apply them as written, which of course never happens.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I have been opposed to hate crime laws from day one. Why is it worse that someone murders someone because they don't like their race, religion, sexual preference than because they (1) just enjoy murdering people, (2) did it for money, (3) hated the victim for non-identity-based reasons?

    It's totally absurd and unfair to victims who don't fall into a mystical protected class. Where's all that equality and equal protection we're supposed to get?

  • John||

    It is completely absurd. But the Feds make up for it by only applying them one way. So not only do we have what amounts to though crimes, as a bonus we prosecute those crimes solely based on the race of the defendant and victim.

  • Not an Economist||

    race of the defendant and victim

    Isn't that being extended to gender and sexual preferences now?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think it has been for a while. There was a big push after Matthew Shepard's death.

  • Calidissident||

    23.3% of known hate crime offenders were black in 2012. Almost double their share of the population. About half of all hate crimes were racially motivated in 2012. I can't find data (tbh, I didn't look much) that breaks down race for each type of offense, but black people would have to about half of all other offenders to not get prosecuted for race.

    http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressr.....statistics

  • Loki||

    Hate crime = thought crime. It's just a way of punishing people more for thinking incorrect thoughts in addition to their actual actions.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Fucking pointless. Intent can matter in the sense that there's a different view of culpability if you accidentally hurt someone versus meaning to do it. But the reason why you intended to harm? Not so important.

  • Calidissident||

    To be fair, intent does not, in reality, only matter in cases of "hate crimes." It's just that the penalties are only codified in that instance.

  • R C Dean||

    Yes and no.

    Criminal "intent" is generally a very broad and shallow term, that takes in only the mindset to do the illegal act. The "why" of it doesn't really come up.

    What hate crimes get to is more "motivation", which is the why of it.

    The law doesn't care why you stole a loaf of bread, only that you meant to take the bread without paying for it.

  • Paul.||

    Oh great, so if they do get the miracle of a conviction, it'll prove that the process was racist.

  • Homple||

    How stupid do you have to be to mistake a shoehorn for a machete? Seriously, how stupid?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Maybe the old man had feet like Ronald McDonald?

  • Almanian!||

    You know what they say - "Big shoes...."

    "....big shoehorn."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    As stupid as you have to be evil to fire a beanbag shotgun round five times into a 95 year old man's chest. One time speaks of an instinctual reaction. Thoughtless and unfortunate, but not pre-meditated. Taylor, the piece of shit, chose to pull the trigger five separate times. Five individual times he had to make the decision to send the neurological signal to move the muscles in his trigger finger.
    He made five single decisions to murder Mr. Wrana.

    Five.

  • Paul.||

    He hardly had a choice, he was faced with a 95 yr old crazed man with a shoehorn and a kitchen knife.

  • gaoxiaen||

    You know how fast those fleet-footed 95-year-olds can run. He'd be shoehorning you in 4 or 5 minutes if you didn't run away.

  • 110 Lean||

    Seriously, how stupid?

    Cop stupid.

  • ScoobaSteve||

  • Loki||

    How stupid do you have to be to mistake a shoehorn for a machete?

    Stupid enough to be a cop.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Even better question: How chicken shit do you have to be to panic at the sight of a 95 year old with a kitchen knife and a shoehorn.

    Next time his buddies have to raid a crack house they should be armed with kitchen knives and shoehorns. So very deadly!

  • niobiumstudio||

    Actually, some shoehorns look weirdly like machetes, especially the really old people kind: http://www.easierliving.com/_r.....80x280.jpg

    That said, that cop is a fucking scumbag who deserves murder 1 for that. They should have never broken into his room in the first place.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    who has the balls to check out police one and report back...or ar15...either one.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    well you dirty bastards (and Canadians) I was forced to check myself...not a peep could I find on Police One of either the Craig Taylor nor Shaun Hillman cases.

    Odd that.

  • SusanM||

    nor could I, but I found this gem in their coverage of the demonstrations in New Mexico:

    When I was in the FBI National Academy, my roommate was from the Phillipine National Police - Intelligence Division. We were discussing riots one night over a beer at the Board Room. He said with a straight face and a Phillipino accent, "you Americans spend too much time and money dispersing your riots. A few dollars worth of bullets works just as well in my Country."
    Not that I condone it, but you don't really here of riots like this in the Phillipines do you!?

  • Invisible Finger||

    How LAZY/ARROGANT do you have to be to not wait out a 95-year old man before he gets too tired to brandish ANYTHING?

    For fuck's sake, you'd probably even get paid overtime for waiting.

  • Paul.||

    Hollywood: "Come on now, open the door, I don't want to have to break it down..."

    Real life: *BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*

  • Almanian!||

    Real life: *BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*BLAM*

    + 5 second pause

    "POLICE!"

    Fixed it..

  • Ted S.||

    You forgot the "STOP RESISTING!" shouts.

  • creech||

    Sorry, the cop shows I catch seem to go like this: "Did you hear a cry for help?" "Sounded like it to me." Break down door, etc.

  • Paul.||

    The member of the SWAT team asking that?

    Yeah, exactly. In real life, there ain't no doors even being visited without a SWAT team in full military gear and battering rams.

    The old days of sending a couple of uniforms to the door is outdated, and now the stuff of exciting cop dramas.

  • Paul.||

    Charging the cop, they understand. Everybody's CHARGIN' cops!

    *waves both hands in the air*

    It's the convicting they don't seem to have down.

  • Homple||

    ^^this, to coin a phrase.

  • Paul.||

    I think this is appropriate here.

  • GILMORE||

    "pelting"?

    Please, editors. We know Liz is new and all and not yet passed her "Clip or Magazine"? test, but that's just silly.

    Was his aim focused like a rifle as well?

  • Paul.||

    The cop was douched like a bag.

  • Loki||

    Taylor's totally unreasonable and inappropriate use of force

    Blah blah blah... totality of circs... mumble mumble... procedures were followed... something something... surfing competition with Morgan Fairchild... yada yada... power lifting...

  • Paul.||

    You forgot furtive movements.

  • Loki||

    Dammit! He hasn't been around in a while, so I'm forgetting how to properly parody dumphuck

  • ||

    So I guess the question now is, how deeply in love with their police are the people of Cook County? Because if they're anything like the good people of Fullerton, this guy will be acquitted in short order.

  • sarcasmic||

    Last I heard, those good jurors of Fullterton had an audience of uniformed officers giving them the hairy eyeball throughout the trial.
    I'm not sure they voted to acquit out of love for the police as much as fear for the safety of their families.

  • croaker||

    Yup. If I'm on a jury and this happens to me the judge is getting a note, a few cops are getting jury tampering charges, and the rest are going to be standing in the hall.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yup. If I'm on a jury and this happens to me the judge is getting a note, a few cops are getting jury tampering charges an alternate juror will take my place, and the rest are I am going to be standing in the hall.

    -ftfy

    The cops and the judge are on the same team. Remember that.

  • sarcasmic||

    Charged doesn't mean convicted.

  • Damien||

    "police were called to Wrana's nursing home last year"

    Link says, "assisted living" which is quite different from a nursing home. But hey, don't let facts get in the way of a narrative.

    Too many departures from the CT article. I nominate this author to write for the AP. Certainly has the ability to twist facts.

  • Pulseguy||

    My Mother-in-law is 89, not 95, and you could give her a machete and a 10" hunting knife and I could disarm her without getting myself cut. And, I'm in my 60s.

    I'd like to say 'what is wrong with these people?' but we know what is wrong; they are psychopaths with some power.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Had to shoot him with a few beanbags to make sure he was dead. Learned that from the Albaquerque video.

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