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Two former workers at a Pennsylvania nursing home are in jail after police say they were caught on camera abusing an elderly patient.
Investigators say the abuse happened at the Arbors at Buck Run, a nursing home in Bucks County, Pa. The daughter of a patient at Arbors became suspicious about how her mother was being treated and decided to take action, according to investigators.
“The patient’s daughter installed hidden cameras in her mother’s room and captured the abuse that’s alleged in this case, including one of the accused literally dancing in the face of a wheel-chair bound victim,” said Detective Eric Landamia of the Lower Southampton Police Department.
Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare began to investigate. According to the DPW, the two workers were seen “dumping” a resident on a bed and “manhandling” the patient.
The DPW also says one of the workers danced in front of the resident while holding a cell phone and then singing and yelling directly into the resident’s face. The ongoing abuse happened repeatedly from October 16 to November 13, according to the DPW.
Police identified the two workers as Regina Battles, 20, and Irene Rodriguez, 22. Both women turned themselves in Tuesday morning and were sent to the Bucks County Jail after failing to post $100,000 bail. They are charged with neglect of a care dependent person, reckless endangerment, simple assault and harassment.
The lawyer for both women says his clients did nothing wrong. He also calls the surveillance video that captured the alleged abuse “a matter of interpretation.”
“I understand the victim’s family seeing it in a way that they’re perceiving it,” said Defense Attorney Alan Zibelman. “I completely understand that. But I also believe that if an objective person looked at it, it could be perceived in a different way.”
The two women aren’t the only ones in hot water due to the alleged abuse. The DPW revoked the Arbors’ license, citing “gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct.”
NBC10 Philadelphia talked to a spokeswoman from Arbors.
“Do you have anything to say on behalf of the facility?” asked NBC10’s Deanna Durante.
“No,” said the woman. “I just think it’s a wonderful place to work.”
The woman eventually directed NBC10 to the nursing home’s management company. The company told NBC10 the nursing home previously received a citation also related to patient care back in February which they were in full compliance with by May. The company also claimed they would appeal the DPW’s order to close and will stay open for the next 30 days.