Police in Florida have taken two men into custody in connection with the beating of an elderly woman at an assisted living facility in Brevard County on Christmas Day. The 82-year-old woman suffered facial injuries, bruises to her hands and arms and a head injury severe enough to cause a brain bleed in the attack according to detectives from the Rockledge Police Department. One of the men arrested worked as a caregiver at the facility. The other was the facility’s executive director.
Alone in a wheelchair
Law enforcement was notified about the incident when the victim’s daughter visited the assisted living facility to celebrate Christmas. She says she found her mother sitting alone in a wheelchair in the dark. Upon closer inspection, she observed signs of bruising and swelling on her elderly mother’s face. She also noticed that makeup had been applied in an apparent attempt to conceal the injuries and the assault that had caused them.
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The caregiver on duty at the time initially blamed the woman’s injuries on a fall, but he later admitted to choking her. The facility’s executive director became a person of interest in the inquiry when detectives learned that he had urged the caregiver to lie to police and change bedding stained with the victim’s blood. The two suspects face a raft of charges in connection with the assisted living facility abuse and neglect. The facility has reported that both of them have since been fired.
Shocking, but not uncommon
Incidents like this one are shocking, but they are far from uncommon. Elderly residents are subjected to verbal and physical abuse every day in assisted living facilities the United States, and few of their abusers ever face justice. These men were arrested because the victim’s mother happened to stumble upon a crime scene. If she had not, the two men would likely still be working at the facility.