80-year-old man says police beat him - KCTV5 News

80-year-old man says police beat him

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LONE JACK, MO (KCTV) -

A Lone Jack grandfather says he fears for his life after a run in with police.

Bill Swan was on his tractor when he took issue with a utility crew trying to dig on his property. His family says that before long the Lone Jack police arrived and Swan was left bloodied and more from being yanked off the tractor.

"I'm afraid for us to even drive out of our driveway or to get on the street. I don't know what they will do," Libby Swan, Bill's wife, said.

Libby Swan hasn't asked her husband all of what happened because she doesn't want to put him through the ordeal right now.

"It's very unnerving that something happened to him," she said.

She can only guess that the 80-year-old ended up with a bloodied face, bruised hip and two ribs broken because his hearing is really bad.

"Sometimes I have to get right in his face and talk to him," Libby Swan said.

The Swan's grandson says the arresting officers told him they yanked Bill Swan off his tractor because he refused to get off when they ordered him to, then he tried to run over the officers. He said Bill Swan was booked for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and assault on an officer.

"I always feel like police are there to protect you and take care of you," Libby Swan said.

Libby Swan has a hard time believing that her husband provoked such a violent response and said the whole thing has impacted how she feels about the role of police in her little town.

"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," Libby Swan said.

KCTV5's Betsy Webster tried to get the police department's side of the story by calling police and county dispatch as well as emailing the chief, but hadn't heard back as of Thursday's 10 p.m. news.

The following day Police Chief William Forbes got back to KCTV5, saying he wasn't able to respond Thursday because he was already gone for the day by 4:30 p.m. He did release an official statement, though:

“Public Works was near the individual's house repairing some utility lines on the city's easement. The individual has felt for some time that they were on his property. He went out and yelled at them that they were on his property, to get off his property, that he was going to sue, etc. The workers felt he was being abusive, so they called police. When the police got there, the individual was on his tractor. He first tried to back into their police car. Then, he tried to leave the scene.”

“The officers gave him verbal and hand signs to stop. He refused to do so, turned his tractor around, and tried to run over the officers. One of the officers was able to get on the tractor and shut it off. He became combative, swung at the officers, and tried to get the officer's firearm out of his holster. During the scuffle trying to subdue him, he suffered a cut on his head. EMS was called. EMS responded. He was abusive to them and refused treatment. He was then brought to the station where were was booked for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and two counts of assaulting a police officer.”

“He will have his day in court.”

Besides his official statement, Forbes added that he believes his officers handled the situation properly because “They were in fear of their lives.”

When questioned about how fearful his officers were of an 80-year-old man, Forbes said, “It doesn't matter how old a man is if he's on a tractor and he's trying to run you over.”

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