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posted: 1/14/2010 12:01 AM

83-year-old Cook County woman tasered by police

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An 83-year-old woman was tasered by police after threatening to attack her neighbors with a kitchen knife, Niles Police officials said.

Sylvia Ziecina of the 800 block of Washington St., Niles, was charged with aggravated assault of a peace officer after she was released from a mental health stay at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge on January 6, said Niles Police Sgt. Tom Davis.

Davis said The incident started when Ziecina called police and threatened to kill her neighbors in the evening hours of Dec. 8 due to excessive noise coming from a nearby townhouse.

When police responded to her home, she walked into the yard wielding a 7-inch kitchen knife and began threatening officers.

"Officers told her to drop the knife, and she refused," he said. "She started to move toward officers with the knife, they felt threatened, so the officer shot her with the taser."

He added, at one point, Ziecina told the officers to shoot her.

After stunning the woman, they removed the knife from her hand and called for an ambulance.

"As we do with anyone we are forced to taser, we took her in to be checked out at the hospital," he said. "Then, we sent her for a mental health evaluation."

She was transported from the scene to Lutheran General Hospital, where she was released in January after the psychological evaluation.

Ziecina is due in court Feb. 23 to answer to the misdemeanor charge of aggravated assault against a peace officer.