Three North Carolina nursing home employees have been arrested after they allegedly encouraged two patients with dementia to engage in an altercation that officials say was a part of a “fighting ring.”
Winston-Salem Police Department first received a report of elder abuse at the Danby House, an assisted living facility, on June 21, according to WGHP-TV in High Point.
The department’s Criminal Investigations Division then teamed up with the North Carolina Health Department to investigate the claims.
“When you’re talking about someone who can’t take care of themselves, we’ve got to give specific attention to that,” Winston-Salem police Lt. Gregory Dorn told WGHP.
— FOX8 WGHP (@myfox8) October 11, 2019
A report from the North Carolina Health Department revealed employees didn’t intervene in a fight between two patients with dementia but instead videotaped the altercation and egged them on.
The fight in June ended with “one resident being strangled with her face turning red.”
According to the state, several staff members could be seen and heard in the video encouraging the patients to continue to fight.
One staff member even asked another, “Are you recording? You gonna send it to me?”
The video was later circulated over social media.
During the state’s investigation, one employee said they allowed the two patients to fight because one of them “always caused problems.”
Although the Health Department’s report does not specifically name the three employees charged, the Winston-Salem Journal says court documents reveal they were Marilyn Latish McKey, 32; Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20; and Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, 26.
All three women have been charged with assaulting disabled individuals in connection with the June 21 incident.
McKey has additionally been charged with assault for shoving a 73-year-old woman into a room.
I am APPALLED!!!! After knowing people who have suffered from this disease and passed away it’s sickening! The families need five minutes alone with each “ woman” term used very loosely
— KymberleyAngela (@kymberleyangela) October 13, 2019
All three former employees are set to appear in court by the end of November.
Danby House released a statement saying it “immediately” fired the three women involved in the June incident due to its “zero tolerance policy for the mistreatment of those in our care.”
“Administrators have been working closely with the Winston-Salem Police Department throughout its investigation to ensure justice is served,” the assisted facility said, according to WGHP.
“Additional staff training and a more rigorous vetting process for all new and existing employees at Danby House has been implemented.
“Danby House has undergone leadership changes in recent months, and we look at situations like these as opportunities to improve upon the high standard of care we provide for our residents.”