Two Men Charged in Room-to-Room Beating Spree at Nursing Home
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ Two men have been charged in a room-to-room beating spree at a nursing home where they worked, authorities said.
One of five patients involved, a 93-year-old woman, died two weeks later, but it was not yet known if abuse caused or contributed to her death.
Raymond J. Amadeo, 21, and Walter F. Thompson, 20, were fired from the the Valley Terrace Nursing Home in nearby Puyallup after the June 20 spree, according to charges filed Friday in Pierce County Superior Court.
Amadeo faces five counts of assault and Thompson was charged with two counts of assault.
Prosecutors said the spree began when Amadeo intervened on behalf of a third employee who was having trouble putting the 93-year-old, Borghild Mikelhaug, to bed.
″This is how I deal with her,″ he allegedly told the co-worker before repeatedly smacking Mikelhaug in the head, prosecutors said. Amadeo put a wet cloth on her head when she lapsed into unconsciousness, the charges allege.
Amadeo and Thompson then went on a room-to-room beating spree, according to court documents. Mikelhaug was hospitalized two days later, about the time nursing home officials contacted police. She died July 9.
A 79-year-old woman allegedly was choked and hit with a pillow. She was later hospitalized and treated for face and neck bruises and a broken jaw. An 82-year-old resident allegedly was beaten when she accused Amadeo and Thompson of being rough in helping her out of a chair.
Two other patients Amadeo is accused of beating, ages 88 and 84, were later taken to the hospital.
Al Woog, Mikelhaug’s brother, said whoever was responsible should be punished. ″My God, I’ve never seen anyone beaten that bad,″ he said.
Patty Wood, director at Valley Terrace, said the nursing home staff was relieved the charges were filed. The spree was an isolated incident, she said.
″It was certainly a horrible thing, but it wasn’t a result of system failure,″ Wood said.
Valley Terrace was cited by the state Department of Social and Health Services for not reporting the beatings until two days after they occurred. State laws require that elderly abuse be reported immediately.