Autopsy: Bean bag rounds fired by police killed Park Forest man, 95

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The 95-year-old resident of a Park Forest senior living community who died after a Friday confrontation with police was killed by the bean-bag rounds police fired at him, the Cook County medical examiner’s office determined following an autopsy today.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office said that the cause of death of John Warna was hemoperitoneum – bleeding in the stomach area from blunt force trauma of the abdomen after he was shot with a bean bag gun.

Warna, wielding a 12-inch blade and a cane, was shocked with a Taser and then hit by the bean-bag rounds from police before later dying at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn about 2:30 a.m. Saturday, according to authorities.

According to an e-mailed press release from Park Forest police, officers were sent to 101 Main Street in Park Forest about 8:42 p.m. Friday to help a private ambulance company with a “combative” resident of the home there — Warna. The Victory Centre of Park Forest, a supportive living community for adults 65 and older according to its website, is at that address.

Warna was being “involuntarily” committed for medical treatment by staff at the Victory Centre, the release said.

When police arrived, Warna was threatening staff and paramedics with a metal cane and a 2-foot metal shoehorn, the release said. Police demanded that he drop the cane and shoehorn, but he did not comply and then picked up a “12-inch butcher type kitchen knife.”

Police continued to demand that Warna surrender and follow their orders and eventually used a Taser on him. That failed to subdue him and he continued to threaten others, the release said. Police then fired bean bag rounds at the man to get him to drop the knife and surrender. He did so and was taken into custody.

The man was conscious and talking to officers and staff before being transported to St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago, according to authorities.

-Chicago Tribune Reporting

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  • one of many

    95 ? ! Are you kidding me? ! Officers couldn’t figure out a way to outmaneuver a 95 year old regardless of a butcher knife? That pretty much tells me they weren’t trying hard enough.

  • Jack Steen

    Why has this story not been trumpeted ? Why has the Park Forest "police chief" not been barraged by reporters for his ignorance in sending out an eMail in reference to his officers' MURDER of this old man instead of answering QUESTIONS about the use of sadistic FORCE ? Why hasn't WGN sent reporters to hound and question the other authorities in Park Forest for even equipping the "police" with DEATH TASERS that they're obviously not qualified to use ?

  • Jerry

    Jack you know nothing POS! Read the story and then realize the Taser did not even make contact in this case. As unfortunate as it is, the man had orders for no medical treatment and since he was not treated for his injuries, he died. Take you head out of the sand and get your a** off the couch if you want to participate in life.

    • David S

      Jerry I think you should take YOUR head out of your a$$. The Park Forest Police officers conduct in this matter is indefensible. These officers should be fired and charged with murder. When we get to a point in society when SWAT teams use tasers and bean-bag shotguns on the elderly in nursing homes, we need to face the fact that police abuse is out of control and needs to be STOPPED..

      Charge these dangerous thug cops for the death of a man who valiantly served and defended his country in our armed forces.

      You are pathetic, Jerry…