Police in Lone Jack, Missouri, are among the latest to be accused of using excessive force, after allegedly beating an 80-year-old army veteran and cancer survivor.
The New York Daily News reports that Bill Swan, who is hearing impaired, was beaten by police after a confrontation with a utility crew. Fox4KC says that Swan believed the utility crew was on his property, and he became angry. Police claim that the utility crew felt like the situation was getting out of hand, and decided to call for assistance.
When police arrived, they say that Swan tried to back into their patrol car with his tractor. They allege that officers told him to stop, and also gave him hand signals, but he turned the tractor around and attempted to run over the officers.
Police Chief William Forbes said in a statement that one of the officers was able to get on the tractor and turn it off. He states that Swan became combative and tried to grab one officer’s gun. Forbes says he believes the officers handled the situation correctly, because “they were in fear for their lives.”
Swan’s grandson, Tim, tells a different story.
Police got there and told him to get off his tractor, he was on his own property, and said, ‘I don’t have to get off my tractor.’ They maced him, then drug him off the tractor.
Forbes was asked how fearful his officers should have been of an 80-year-old man. He replied:
It doesn’t matter how old a man is if he’s on a tractor and he’s trying to run you over.
According to KCTV, Swan was left with a bloody face, a bruise on his hip, and two broken ribs.
Swan’s wife, Libby, believes that the confrontation took place because of Swan’s poor hearing. She told KCTV:
Sometimes I have to get right in his face and talk to him.
The incident has left Libby Swan with a bad feeling about the local police.
If I was here and someone was trying to get into my house, I don’t think I would call them. I think I would call the highway patrol or someone like that.
(Featured image courtesy of KCTV5)