Elderly ex-nun files excessive force lawsuit against cop over nursing home assault

Elizabeth Bormann (Still from ABC6 video)
A 76-year-old former nun has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against a Columbus, Ohio police officer after being allegedly brutally assaulted and humiliated during a routine nursing home visit.

Elizabeth Bormann says that an officer with the Columbus Police Department knocked her to the ground and then handcuffed her while she tried to visit a 96-year-old friend confined to a bed at the Highbanks Care Center, WSYX News reports. She tells the ABC affiliate that she regularly drives 540 miles each week to visit the elderly friend, but things took an appalling turn during a visit a few months back.

When Bormann arrived at the nursing home on March 17, a staffer at the center told her that her friend’s legal guardian had made several changes to the list of approved visitors following a scam that cost the man’s family half a million dollars. Although investigators tell WSYX that Ms. Bormann isn’t believed to be involved in the swindling, her name was nonetheless added to the do-not-admit list.

"I told them that I needed to see (him) because I needed to tell (him) that my visitation had been (canceled). And of course he was very upset, but I needed to tell him," Bormann tells reporters.

The nursing home staff wasn’t all that understanding, though, and Bormann refused to leave until she was allowed to see her friend. That’s when the cops were called in.

Bormann tells the station that Columbus Police Officer Theodis N. Turner, III was dispatched to the nursing home to handle the situation. Bormann says the cop wasn’t willing to hear her side of the story, though.

"He said to me, 'I've had enough of you,' and he charged into me, basically, and somehow or the other, charged into my side, took my arm. It all happened so fast,” she tells WSYX.

"Before I know it, I was down on my knees and then, of course, I urinated, and I started a little crying, and pretty much I was just stunned.

"I was humiliated. I do believe that I've become a victim. It just was such a surprise and such a shock."

The spokesperson for the Columbus Division of Police insists that Bormann provoked the assault that and that, despite the officer’s demands for her to leave, "she resisted him the whole time."

When another officer arrived at scene, the second cop asked "Now this is why you call for backup?" court documents claim.

Bormann admitted guilt to a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing, but says the way the force handled the entire event was preposterous.

"It was quite traumatic for me, and then of course, it hurt," she says.

Bormann's attorney, Ashley Rutherford Starling, calls the entire incident “unbelievable.” She is helping the former school teacher and nun file a lawsuit that alleged the officer used excessive force and violated her client’s civil rights with the Federal Court for the Southern District of Ohio.