A 34-year-old nursing assistant in Florida was apprehended on Wednesday after they were accused of publishing a photograph on social media that displayed them physically mistreating an elderly dementia patient that was under their care to gain more attention online.
According to an affidavit, an employee at the healthcare facility where the accused was employed as a certified nursing assistant reported to the Mount Dora Police Department that they had received an anonymous message on their work email stating that a patient was being abused at the facility. The anonymous email included a video and a photograph that had recently been posted to the accused’s social media account.
The employee presented the police with the email, the video and the photograph. The video posted on the accused’s TikTok page showed them wearing their work uniform and “extremely distinct gold/silver bracelets” while dancing to a song in what looked to be a facility bathroom.
The photo attached to the anonymous email was posted on the accused’s Facebook page and was far more troubling. The police discovered that the photo displayed an 88-year-old dementia patient lying in bed with a heart emoji on their face. They also noticed that the arm in the photograph that appeared to belong to the accused was extended towards the patient’s face, squeezing and twisting their lips, which caused the patient’s top lip to appear pale in the photo. The photograph was captioned, “Twisting my Resident Lip Because Uon S— Before Shift Change.” The photo has since been removed from the accused’s Facebook page.
In an interview with the police, the accused admitted that they were the individual in both the video and photo and that they were the owner of both social media accounts. Furthermore, they confirmed that they had taken the video and photo on May 1. The accused then stated that the circumstances from the caption were not real and that no patient was actually “waiting for assistance after falling.” They also accepted that they had physically touched the elderly patient’s face as the photo showed, but they claimed that they were not doing so forcefully. However, the police found that this was contradicted by the pale area around the patient’s mouth, which showed that force had been applied to the area. The accused attempted to justify their actions by saying that the post was created to get likes on social media.
After their arrest, the accused was released on a $2,000 bond. They later posted a news article about their arrest on their Facebook page with a laughing emoji. It is not known what the status of the accused’s nursing assistant’s license is.