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Nursing home workers ‘whip’ resident with lanyard, tackle him to ground, Florida cops say
Charlotte Observer - 3/15/2023
Two nursing home workers are accused of assaulting two residents and leaving them lying in a hallway, according to a Florida sheriff’s office.
Deputies began investigating an incident at the Inspired Living at Ivy Ridge Assisted Living Facility in unincorporated St. Petersburg on March 14, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Two workers, ages 23 and 19, “initiated an altercation” with a male resident March 12 as he was pushing a female resident down a hall in her wheelchair, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
The 23-year-old worker started to “whip” the man with her lanyard “while laughing,” the sheriff said.
Both employees then “proceeded to grab the male resident and take him to the ground,” deputies said. He was still holding onto the wheelchair, so it fell sideways and caused the woman to also fall to the ground.
The workers ran away from the area, leaving both residents on the floor, the sheriff’s office said. They then told a coworker about the incident but said the man had attacked the woman and they weren’t involved, according to the sheriff’s office.
A spokesperson for the assisted living facility said in a statement the executive director of the facility put the workers on leave and opened an investigation as soon as she learned about the incident. She also reported it to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and state agencies, and notified the residents’ families, spokesperson Brian Morrison said in the statement.
“Within 24 hours the Inspired Living team had completed their due diligence and upon completion both employees were terminated,” Morrison said in the statement. “The residents received medical examinations that revealed no injuries and returned to the community.”
Morrison said the residents are still living at the facility and the actions of the terminated workers do not reflect the rest of the staff members.
“We take the responsibility for caring for our residents very seriously and stringently follow the hiring guidelines from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration,” he said. “Inspired Living is led by a focus on our moral compass, and we are honored to serve our moms and dads with compassion, care, and the utmost respect.”
Both workers were charged with two counts of battery on a person 65 years of age or older.
St. Petersburg is about 20 miles southwest of Tampa.
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