A Lot Of People Say "WTF?", But They Don't Know What They're Talking About. THIS is "WTF?"

Print This Post

You may also like...

17 Responses

  1. shg says:

    It's the oxygen. It keeps them frisky, and you know how frisky old folks can present a danger to hot looking men in uniform.

  2. Jag says:

    Police report:

    (link removed and document posted up top, hosted on our own server so as not to sponge bandwidth, along with a link to Miller's blogpost – Patrick)

  3. Jdog says:

    Well, maybe you could have disarmed her. We'd never know if I could; I wouldn't get that close to somebody with a knife and an expressed intention of using it. (I've got two — well-mended — holes in my right retina from when a blind, eighty-year-old retarded man caught me upside the head with what I'm told was a perfectly-performed backfist. I was attempting to hold him down so that he could get his flu shot. He didn't want it. I'm glad he didn't have even a butter knife; the poor guy was absolutely terrified of shots, and being an insulin-dependent diabetic, he was either going to get a lot of them or die. Wasn't my call.)

    Which is not to say that I'm going to leap on the zap-the-crazy-old-lady bandwagon. Even to get hauled up on it, I'd want to know what the friggin' rush was. And I'm suspecting that there wasn't a real one.

  4. Imaginary Lawyer says:

    Jdog, we're not police officers who are supposed to be trained in dealing with people who do not have all their marbles. There is a difference in handling "86 year old demented bedridden gramma with a knife" vs. "25 year old physically able meth user with a knife". Of course there was some danger to the officers, but the idea that the knife made it A-OK to whip out the taser is insane (and I know you're not agreeing with it).

    I'm suspecting the rush was that somebody got a shiny new Taser.

  5. Matt Raft says:

    I am conflicted, in part b/c it seems like Patrick concealed the fact of the knife in his post. Also, I am thinking about how I would have handled the situation. I would probably remove the grandson from the premises to protect him from accidental injury…but then what? Any suggestions? I agree an 86 year-old woman doesn't pose a substantial threat, but does the officer have to wait until she gets off the bed and starts attacking him? Perhaps the officers should have gone outside and treated the issue like a hostage situation, but time was apparently of the essence–according to the grandson, the woman had swallowed a potentially lethal dosage of medicine.

    (BTW, the report seems vague about how the woman suffered the large laceration.)

  6. Matt Raft says:

    And I understand Patrick did mention the knife in the post, so "concealed" was a poor choice of wording:

    "To place things in context, the very obviously demented Varner, according to Duran, pulled a kitchen knife on Duran from under her pillow."

    At the same time, I was thinking about an ordinary kitchen knife when I read Patrick's reference, and the police report seems to indicate a much larger knife. I have not had my coffee yet, so forgive my trespasses :-)

  7. Patrick says:

    I haven't seen the knife Matt. It could be a butter knife, or it could be a Norman Bates special.

    But with ten cops in the room? Tasering an 86 year old lady hooked to an oxygen tank? I don't care if she had a katana handed down from Miyamoto Musashi.

    Remember, the cops were in her home. She had committed no crime, and her grandson wasn't calling for the police, but for medical help. Officer Thomas Duran disobeyed a LAWFUL COMMAND to leave her property.

    She should have cut them all to pieces, just as Musashi destroyed all 57 samurai of the Yoshioka school, singlehanded, at the Ichijoji temple.

  8. Ken says:

    Yeah. I mean, if trained cops can't handle a bedridden 86-year-old on oxygen with highly limited mobility without tasing her, I think it's pretty clear EVERYONE is going to get tased if the cops feel like it.

  9. Jag says:

    I think Musashi would totally have been tased.

    BTW, I think Point #3 is wrong, at least according to the report. The Grandson allegedly called the police because he suspected she overdosed in an attempt at suicide. So now the Police are possibly in a time sensitive situation. The 911 tape would corroborate that.

    Is attempted suicide (or a suicide in progress) a crime?

  10. Patrick says:

    If it is, it's a victimless crime.

  11. Nancy says:

    And standing on the oxygen hose is definitely going to help if the overdose is dangerous.

  12. Imaginary Lawyer says:

    For true WTFery you really must read the police report.

    I think my favorite part is about how elderly people routinely receive bad lacerations "with the slightest of contact with objects".

  13. Dennis says:

    YOU disarm her, then. And do so without breaking any of her frail bones. It's a lose-lose situation.

    I think my favorite part is about how elderly people routinely receive bad lacerations “with the slightest of contact with objects”.

    That described my late father to a T. He always looked like he'd been tumble-dried in a concrete mixer full of bowling balls.

  14. Imaginary Lawyer says:

    Dennis – I think you're talking about bruises, which are different from lacerations.

  15. Dennis says:

    You'd not seen his arms. And we've not seen hers.

  16. Patrick says:

    I've seen her face, Dennis, and I can guess what her arms looked like from the photo of her face. Thin, frail sticks.

    Which again, is why I'm amazed that they used a Taser. While I'm confident any reasonably strong man could have disarmed her, using a heavy oven mitt for protection, if that doesn't float your boat they could have spoken calmly to her, in soft, soothing voices. They could have asked her if she'd like a cup of coffee, and explained that they weren't soldiers of the army of imperial Japan. They could have waited her out. If there was pressing business elsewhere, say one of the bank robberies or hostage shootouts for which the big city of El Reno Oklahoma is famous, eight of them could have left. Lona Varner wasn't going anywhere.

    Instead, they fired 50,000 volts into her, despite the warning from TASER International that Tasers aren't to be used on people who might have heart trouble, a fair assumption to make about an 86 year old woman hooked to an oxygen tube.

    The only people for whom I hold more contempt than these thugs are lickspittles who defend them.

  1. June 30, 2010

    […] Edited to add 5: Headline from the HouChron: "Dear Abby says what to do when grandma spoils the kids". Somehow, I suspect Dear Abby's answer does not involve a Taser. […]