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Law and disorder: Pop lives in fear of ‘raving’ trooper son
By Tom Mashberg
Monday, August 23, 2004

In what family members call ``a classic case of elder abuse,'' a state trooper whose illustrious brother was killed in the line of duty 21 years ago has been sent into anger management and has a criminal complaint hanging over his head after allegedly assaulting and berating his 89-year-old father.

Trooper John J. Hanna, 46 - whose brother, Trooper George L. Hanna Jr., was slain during a notorious 1983 traffic stop in Auburn - is accused by his own father, George L. Hanna Sr., of knocking him over and injuring his tailbone, elbow and back during a dispute over family finances inside their Natick residence on July 24.

``I have been really afraid of him in the last several months,'' the elder Hanna said in an affidavit for a restraining order against his son, filed in Natick District Court shortly after the alleged incident.

``He came running at me, raving, with his chest pushed out. His temper was out of control and acting like a wild man,'' he wrote. ``I have been in fear of my safety and life at times. The last time he confronted me I wound up in the hospital. . . . His constant threats and physical abuse are too much for me and my family to handle.''

Trooper Hanna, who shares a two-family house with his father and is also a certified financial planner, denied the allegations.

Through his lawyer, John G. Molloy, he said he has been a devoted caretaker to his father for 16 years, that his father still lives in an apartment next to him, and that two judges rejected efforts by his father to extend an emergency restraining order sought against him.

According to a July 24 warrant report by Natick police officer James F. Keohane, when Trooper Hanna was asked about his father's apparent injuries, Hanna told Keohane ``his father has fallen many times and . . . had fallen back in the hallway and banged his elbow.''

Trooper Hanna is due back in Natick District Court Sept. 5 before Clerk Magistrate Brian J. Kearney for a status hearing on assault and battery charges filed against him. On Aug. 5, according to Natick police, Kearney recommended that Hanna, in the interim, attend anger management classes sponsored by the state police.

According to court papers, the elder Hanna says the tension between him and his son stems from a longtime dispute over hundreds of thousands of dollars that were entrusted to John Hanna by his father, but that the elder Hanna says are not properly accounted for.

The senior Hanna also asks the court to order his son ``to return all the funds given him to invest'' by the elder Hanna beginning in 1988.

Neither George Hanna Sr. nor three close family members who support his case would comment on the financial aspects of the dispute - other than to say they intended to retain a Boston elder-law attorney to probe the matter.

They were also reluctant to discuss the criminal complaint. But accepting that the case is a matter of public record, Molly Hanna Glidden, George Hanna Sr.'s eldest daughter, said, ``None of us wants John to lose his job. But this is the typical classic elder abuse situation in the very really sense.''

State police spokesman, Lt. Richard Lane, said his department could not comment.

Annual awards for bravery are given to Bay State law officers in Trooper George Hanna Jr.'s name.

Hanna Jr. was gunned down at age 36 after a daylight traffic stop along Route 20. Three men received life terms for his murder.

George Hanna Sr., a former Natick police officer who turns 90 next month, has been a dedicated and outspoken proponent of the death penalty for cop killers.

In a five-part series this month, the Herald outlined the rampant problem of elders facing both violence and financial exploitation, frequently at the hands of family.
 

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89 y.o. former Natick P.O. refused R.O. by courts.

Kin distraught as judges nix restraining order
By Tom Mashberg
Monday, August 23, 2004

The daughter of George Hanna Sr. says her family is deeply upset that two judges denied their 89-year-old father a full restraining order against his state trooper son.

``It was a fiasco in the courts,'' said Molly Hanna Glidden, 54, of Natick. ``The victim's advocates all said a restraining order was absolutely in order in this case.''

After calling Natick police on July 24 to accuse Trooper John J. Hanna of assaulting him, George Hanna Sr. obtained an emergency restraining order against his son.

Mark R. Hanna, Molly Hanna Glidden and Molly's husband, William Glidden, all endorsed George Hanna Sr.'s urgent request.

Once the emergency three-day order was issued, by on-call Judge Lillian Miranda, Trooper Hanna's service weapons and police vehicle were confiscated from his residence by state police, according to a Natick Police Department report by Officer James F. Keohane.

Three days later, at a hearing in Natick District Court before Judge Sarah B. Singer, George Hanna Sr. sought to have the three-day order extended by several more weeks.

After testimony from father and son, Singer denied the order, writing that the elder Hanna ``failed to prove that he is in reasonable fear of imminent physical harm.''

Upset by the denial and still fearful of abuse, the elder Hanna and his attorney, Jeanne K. Cosmos of Boston, hurried to Middlesex Probate and Family Court in East Cambridge, where they brought the restraining order request before Judge Beverly Weinger Boorstein, court papers say.

Without knowing of Judge Singer's action, Boorstein initially extended the restraining order based on the elder Hanna's testimony, court records say. But two days later, after Trooper Hanna, 46, and his attorney, John G. Molloy of Braintree, complained to her that Judge Singer had already refused to extend the order, Boorstein angrily dismissed her own restraining order ``with prejudice.''

She accused Cosmos and the elder Hanna of misleading the court by not revealing that Judge Singer had turned them down, and she sanctioned Cosmos $5,000.

Cosmos declined to comment on the case, saying she was no longer representing the Hanna family.

But Molly Hanna Glidden said George Hanna Sr. is angry and disappointed that Boorstein assailed him and Cosmos rather than assess her father's request for a restraining order on its own merits.

``We were shocked by her - this is an older man in fear,'' Glidden said. ``But as soon she saw it was a state trooper, her whole demeanor changed and she took it out on us.''

A spokeswoman for the state court system said Boorstein could not comment, but noted that denials of restraining orders are expected to be challenged in the appeals rather than probate courts.
 
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