Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/06/28/taser_lawsuit/
Oklahoma granny sues cops over tasering
Bedridden octogenarian pulled knife, police claim
An 86-year-old Oklahoma woman is suing the El Reno police department for tasering her in her sick bed, local koco.com reports.
Lona M Varner's grandson, Lonnie D Tinsley, was visiting granny's apartment on 22 December last year, and claims he called 911 "to request emergency medical technicians to stop by to help her with medication".
According to the pair's version of events, instead of medical operatives, 10 officers turned up and "pushed their way through the door". Varner "told them to leave", at which point they became "needlessly aggressive", then "stepped on her oxygen hose until Varner began to suffer oxygen deprivation" before hitting her twice with a taser.
The first shot didn't connect, but the second "hit her in the chest, burning Varner and causing her to pass out".
Varner was taken by paramedics to El Reno's Parkview Hospital, and from there to a psychiatric ward in St Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City "at the direction of El Reno police", where she was held for six days.
In their lawsuit filed in federal court last Monday, Varner and Tinsley are claiming "more than $75,000" for the former's "great pain, mental suffering, fear and humiliation and being deprived of her physical liberty".
The police report, however, paints a very different picture. Officer Duran explains that he attended the scene where "a suicidal subject" had "taken unknown medication".
He claims Varner pulled a kitchen knife from under her pillow and said: "I want to die. I did not call you so get the fuck out of my house."
Varner refused to hand over the knife, threatened to kill Duran and two other officers who arrived as back-up and was then tasered, rendering her "incapable of any further aggresive action".
During transportation to Parkview Hospital, Varner persisted in making death threats against the police, prompting Duran to "complete an officer's affadavit for emergency detention".
Police and the city of El Reno have "declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying it is still pending". ®