Cincinnati, OH — In 2019, Paul Koren, a 70-year-old grandpa with no criminal record, was the victim of a home invasion. Two men broke into his home looking for cash and guns — which he did not have. After police would show up to investigate, Koren would be arrested. The actions of police that night are now the subject of a civil suit.
During their investigation into the home invasion, police discovered that the retired engineer and grandfather was growing a couple of marijuana plants in his basement. Cincinnati.com reports that Koren explained to them that he was growing it to give away to sick people including a nephew who suffered from pain because of a degenerative muscle disease.
Because authorities in Ohio claim the authority to kidnap and cage those who possess or distribute this plant, this grandpa with no criminal record was hauled off to jail to be placed in a cage with rapists thieves and murderers for daring to help sick people with a plant.
While in jail, cops had a suspicion that Koren may have smuggled something in, so they demanded a strip search. Koren, deciding that he would like his dignity better than consenting to police humiliation, refused the strip search — politely — according to a recent lawsuit filed by the grandpa.
However, the officers interpreted this refusal as Koren being "disorderly," so they moved to torture him for hours.
According to Koren's recently filed lawsuit, several officers then picked him up and "slammed him into a restraint chair where he was then bound at the wrists and ankles."
The 70-year-old Koren was put in this restrain chair despite the fact that he "posed no threat" to police and did not "physically resist in any way," according to the lawsuit.
A nurse in the jail witnessed the seemingly torturous act of the elderly man and reported she was told Koren was "placed in the restraint chair because he refuse(d) a strip search for drugs," according to the lawsuit.
After being "slammed" into the chair, he was then rolled away into the jail's psychiatric unit as a means of torture, where he was left completely restrained for hours.
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"Mr. Koren was not allowed to use the restroom during any of his time in the restraint chair (and) was finally forced to urinate upon himself," the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit mentions other nurses in the area who described Koren as being compliant, "pleasant and relaxed" completely removing any justification for the use of the chair. However, none of them had the courage enough to release him, according to the lawsuit.
After humiliating him for five hours, Koren was then wheeled back to the processing area — soaked in his own urine — where he posted bond and was released. No strip search was ever conducted.
Naturally, the jail defended the act of torturing a grandpa in a restraint chair for daring to help those in need by growing a plant in his basement. They said it did not violate any policies.
Koren and his attorneys disagree however, stating their review of jail records found it was the sheriff's office's policy "to utilize restraint chairs liberally, punitively and in ways which served no reasonable (jail) interest."
Their assertions are backed up by the fact that Koren was never strip searched. He was merely punished and humiliated for refusing.
"A restraint chair is an extreme use of force which should only be used after other, less aggressive means have been unsuccessful," Koren's attorney, Paul Laufman said. "It is absolutely ridiculous that a 70-year-old grandfather would be strapped in a restraint chair for nearly five hours. This should not have happened to him, and the jail needs to stop using restraint chairs as a form of punishment."
According to Cincinnati.com, Koren pleaded guilty to a marijuana charge and was sentenced to probation, which records show he completed in July 2020.
The entire waste of resources and humiliation accomplished absolutely nothing.