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Cops sued after tasering bed-ridden granny

20:30 Sun Jun 27 2010
MSN NZ staff
Lona Varner was tasered in her bed.

US police are being sued after tasering an 86-year-old bed-ridden grandmother.

Lona Varner's grandson Lonnie Tinsley called for medical assistance on December 22 last year when he became concerned about medication his grandmother had taken.

"She says her life is over, she wants to end it ... she's taken some medicine, I don't know what she's taken ... [the paramedics] need to come check her out," Mr Tinsley told the 911 operator.

But instead of a doctor, ten police officers arrived at the Oklahoma home.

When Ms Varner told them to leave, officer Thomas Duran allegedly yelled, "Taser her".

Mr Tinsley said he shouted "don't taze my granny".

Officer Duran's official report said Mrs Varner had taken an "aggressive" posture in her bed.

Other officers told a tribunal in January that Mrs Varner was wielding a knife.

One of the officers stepped on her oxygen cord to deprive her of air so she would calm down but when that failed, she was tasered.

It didn't connect properly, so another shot was fired, this time hitting her in the chest.

The blast burned Mrs Varner's skin, causing her to pass out.

Officers then handcuffed her and took her to a local hospital to treat her injuries. She was also placed in a psychiatric hospital for six days.

It is not clear whether Mrs Varner suffered from a mental illness.

"I wouldn't want it to happen to anyone else," Mrs Varner, now 87, told The Oklahoman.