Three women who worked at a North Carolina eldercare facility have been arrested on charges they baited elderly dementia patients into fighting one another.
Marilyn Latish McKey, 32, Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20, and Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, 26, were arrested earlier this month on charges of assault on an individual with a disability, according to the Washington Post. They are due back in court in November.
Police in Winston-Salem, N.C., say the three women victimized dementia patients for whom they were charged with caring at an assisted-living and memory-care facility called Danby House.
McKey, Tyson and Jordan are charged with encouraging two female patients, ages 70 and 73, to fight—all while recording it, authorities say.
When one of the patients began to scream for help, one of the workers yelled at her to shut up, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. At one point, things got so out of hand that when one patient started choking the other, a worker encouraged her to do more, urging the patient to “punch her” victim “in the face.”
And as WAND 17 reports, the staffers wanted to be sure there was video to remember it all:
Another staff member could be heard saying, “Are you recording?” and “You gonna send it to me?” the report said.
“It’s sad, the whole situation,” Winston-Salem Police Lt. Gregory Dorn told the Washington Post:
Dorn said McKey, Tyson and Jordan were recording the misdeeds on their phones and that several videos have been seized and placed into evidence. Authorities were told that there were some videos of the assaults on social media, but those files haven’t been located, he said.
Authorities began investigating the trio in June after receiving a tip about possible abuse at the facility.
Danby House fired the three women after it learned of the allegations, the Journal reports, but the investigation continued.
In addition to the charges brought against the workers, authorities found the facility in violation of numerous issues regarding overall patient care, according to the Journal. Danby House has been barred from taking in new patients.
A spokesperson for the facility said it had made a number of changes regarding staff training and management, and that it takes the care of its patients seriously, the Post reports.
As for the trio, the charges they face are misdemeanors that carry a maximum punishment of 150 days in jail and a possible fine. They are free on bond, with a next court date set for Nov. 14.