DETROIT – Detroit police announced they had made an arrest just hours after video of an elderly man being beaten in a Metro Detroit nursing home had surfaced.
The video is hard to watch, a 75-year-old -man being punched repeatedly by another patient who appeared to be videoing the beating himself. Local4 has chosen to blur and stop the image. But the disturbing assault continues for almost another minute, until the elderly man begins to bleed.
Online there was outrage. Dozens of people saying they were shocked. One woman on twitter asking “How can you do this? I feel physically sick.”
It was initially Ann Arbor Police who alerted DPD to the videos which had already been widely shared online. The nursing home, Westwood Nursing Home in northwest Detroit, told police today they had not seen the video.
“What our investigations is revealed so far that the nursing home was going to wherever an assault until they saw a video. We're still investigating that aspect,” DPD Chief James Craig said during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Detroit police were able to quickly arrest the 20-year-old man who was being held on complaints of some degree of assault and battery. The 75-year-old man is now being treated at a local hospital for non life-threatening injuries, according to police.
The law firm representing the nursing home sent a statement in response to the incident late Thursday saying the attacker was not a long term resident, but had been admitted for rehabilitation and recovery on a temporary basis and the video had been recorded on May,15th.
“Westwood has been cooperating with the police and will continue to do so. The safety, health, and well-being of our residents remains a top priority of Westwood. We will continue to monitor the situation,” Saif Kasmikha, managing-attorney for Midwest Legal Partners said in the statement.
UPDATE: On Friday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released the following statement on the attack
“Like other viewers, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was deeply disturbed by a video that was widely shared on social media showing a man beating an elderly man who was in his bed at a nursing facility. The department would like to correct inaccurate information that was shared on social media. The man who is accused in the assault is not an MDHHS employee, and the attack did not occur at a department facility. MDHHS staff are dedicated to providing the best possible care for the patients in our facilities. MDHHS’s Adult Protective Services, which takes very seriously its duty to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, also gathered pertinent information resulting in identifying and locating the perpetrator and provided the information to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and law enforcement, which led to the arrest.”