Nursing Home Workers Allegedly Filmed Brawls Between Dementia Patients
32-year-old Marilyn Latish McKey, Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20, and Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, 26, were all arrested and charged with assault on an individual with a disability earlier this month, according to reports from HuffPost. McKey was charged with two counts, while Tyson and Jordan were charged with one, authorities at the Winston-Salem Police Department say.
The police received a tip back in June about elder abuse at Winston-Salem’s Danby House, which, per their website, specializes in caring for Alzheimer’s patients. Police investigators worked with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on the accusation. According to documents sent to the publication from NCDHHS, the three employees who worked at the Danby House allegedly encouraged the elders in its “Special Care Unit” to physically fight one another. These same employees also egged the residents on while filming their fights, which included one of the workers forcefully shoving a resident.
In one incident, two residents with dementia–referred to as Resident 8 and Resident 9 in documents–began fighting as three health care workers watched and recorded it on a phone.
During the fight, the residents fell on the bed, and Resident 9 continued to hit Resident 8. In a cell phone video obtained by authorities, Resident 8 is heard yelling, “Let go, help me, help me, let go” as the staff members continue to record the fight without intervening, say the documents. At one point, a staff member tells Resident 8 to “Stop screaming, (expletive).” Resident 9 continues to hit Resident 8 and begins to choke her. A staff member can be heard encouraging Resident 9, saying “punch her in the face.” While Resident 8 was being choked, a staff member can be heard in the background saying, “You making her turn red,” the documents explain.
On a separate occasion, Resident 8 pushed another resident, identified in the document as Resident 10, to the ground. Documents say Tyson, McKey and Jordan were present for that incident as well, and one of them yelled at Resident 8, pushed her forcefully into a room, shut off the lights and told her to go to sleep. The three workers left Resident 10 on the floor until Resident 8 had been pushed into the room The worker who shoved Resident 8 was not specified in the documents.
Affinity Living, LLC, Danby House’s parent company, told the Winston-Salem Journal in a statement that it has “a zero tolerance policy for mistreatment” and that “McKey, Tyson, and Jordan were terminated immediately in June when community management was alerted to this situation.” They claim to have implemented additional staff training and “a more rigorous vetting process for all new and existing employees.”
According to the Winston-Salem Police Department, a magistrate gave Jordan a $1,500 unsecured bond and McKey a $1,000 unsecured bond. Tyson was released from custody on a written promise to appear in court.
The women are all scheduled to appear in court on November 14.