Nursing Home Staff Accused of Whipping 88-Year-Old Resident Was Arrested For Elder Battery in 2021: Officials
A spokesperson for the senior living community did not respond to Inside Edition Digital when asked whether their company was aware of their staff member's 2021 arrest for battery of a person 65 years of age or older.
Two Florida nursing home employees were arrested after one of them allegedly whipped an 88-year-old elderly male resident and overturned a wheelchair while an elderly female resident was using it, authorities said.
Rosa Edwards, 23, and Aneisha Hall 19, have each been charged with two counts of battery on a person 65 years of age or older and were released Wednesday morning on $2,500 bail.
They have also been terminated from their jobs, the senior home’s management company, Validus Senior Living, told Inside Edition Digital.
The two staff members at Inspired Living at Ivy Ridge Assisted Living Facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, had originally reported a resident-on-resident battery to a coworker, authorities with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
But authorities said an investigation by the facility’s executive director revealed a different story.
The male resident had been pushing a female resident down the hall in her wheelchair when Edwards “began to whip the male resident with a lanyard, while laughing,” authorities said.
Edwards and Hall then allegedly grabbed the elderly man and took him to the ground, according to authorities. Because the elderly man was still holding onto the elderly woman’s wheelchair when he was taken to the ground, the wheelchair fell sideways, taking the elderly woman with it, authorities said.
"The victim and the other patient fell in a forceful manner," the arrest affidavit reported.
Edwards and Hall then “ran away from the area of the incident and out of view of the camera, leaving both elderly residents laying on the ground,” authorities reported. Neither attempted to help the residents immediately following the incident, according to an arrest affidavit.
The two nursing home staff members then told a co-worker the elderly man had battered the elderly woman, and that they were not involved, but during interview with authorities, Edwards “admitted to using excessive force when dealing with the incident and stated that they should have handled it differently,” according to authorities.
The pair were booked into Pinellas County Jail Tuesday night and were released Wednesday morning on $2,500 bail, jail records showed.
Neither are currently represented by an attorney, and there is no upcoming court date listed for either Edwards nor Hall, officials told Inside Edition Digital in a statement.
Both the male and female resident involved in the incident were medically evaluated following the incident, which “revealed no injuries,” Validus Senior Living said, adding that their families were notified and both have returned to the senior living community. “Both residents are doing well and continue to reside at Ivy Ridge.”
“The actions of the terminated employees are not a testimony or reflection of the long term committed staff that care for our moms and dads at Ivy Ridge. We take the responsibility for caring for our residents very seriously and stringently follow the hiring guidelines from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Inspired Living is led by a focus on our moral compass, and we are honored to serve our moms and dads with compassion, care, and the utmost respect,” Validus Senior Living said in a statement.
But was Validus Senior Living aware Edwards was allegedly involved in a 2021 incident that led to a similar arrest? Edwards allegedly hit a 65-year-old man in the head after the two got into a verbal argument in March 2021, according to court records. She was then charged with battery on a person 65 years of age or older, records easily found on Pinellas County Jail's directory showed.
The alleged incident appears to have occurred at or near Noble Senior Living in St. Petersburg. Noble Senior Living did not respond to Inside Edition's request for comment and could not confirm whether Edwards was an employee at their facility at the time of the alleged incident.
The state attorney “concluded that the facts and circumstances revealed did not warrant prosecution,” the Office of Ken Burke, clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller told Inside Edition in a statement. “And the case was closed.”
Validus Senior Living did not respond when asked whether they knew of Edwards’ earlier arrest when she was hired.
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