A personal care worker has been arrested after he was caught on video punching an elderly dementia patient in the face 11 times (video below).
The incident occurred on March 8 at a long-term care home in Ottawa, Canada. Jie Xiao, 45, was changing 89-year-old patient Georges Karam's diaper when the elderly man began swiping at the care worker's face with his hand, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
Karam, who suffers from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and needs a wheelchair, took about three swipes at Xiao. The care worker then responded by striking the patient in the face with his fist.
Xiao punched Karam about 11 times. The attack was caught on camera.
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Karam's grandson, Daniel Nassrallah, had installed the surveillance camera after the family became suspicious of unexplained injuries suffered by Karam. The facility and staff were reportedly aware of the camera.
"I literally stood up and fell down, my legs gave way because I didn't know how to respond to this," Nassrallah told the Ottawa Citizen of the moment he saw the footage.
Xiao was seen thrusting his fist into Karam's face multiple times, pointing at him and taunting him. He returns to the room about a minute and a half later to tuck the patient in, and cover him with sheets and blankets.
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"We have a camera on him, and even that doesn't deter him. To me, that's mind blowing," Nassrallah added.
The family rushed to the care home immediately after watching the video. They alerted police, and ran into Xiao while on their way to Karam's room. They then detained the care worker until the authorities arrived.
Karam was taken to a nearby hospital for a CT scan. He was not seriously hurt.
Xiao was arrested and pleaded guilty to assault. He has been fired by the City of Ottawa, and will be sentenced later this year. Police are working to determine if Xiao abused any other patients.
Karam served in the military and became a staff sergeant in the traffic and circulation division. His wife died in 1993.
“My grandfather was tough as nails,” Nasrallah said, adding that he is now fearful for his well-being.
“He begs us to protect him. Literally the translation is: ‘I beg you, I beg at your feet, please don’t leave me, please protect me, something’s not right,'” Nassrallah said.
Still, the family is reluctant to remove him from the care home.
“The only reason he’s still there is because you are stuck between a rock and a hard place," Nassrallah explained. "An individual in that mental and physical state, he’s accustomed to his surroundings.
"He’s accustomed to the people who work at the home, he’s accustomed to the food, he’s accustomed to his bed, he’s accustomed to waking up with routine at the home.
"He’s accustomed to his life at the home Removing him at this stage would be extremely detrimental to his health and well-being, both physical and mental.”
Video of the attack has circulated throughout social media. Some users expressed their shock at Xiao's actions.
"When ppl are MADE to go into caring for the elderly to keep them employed, this is what is going to happen," wrote one YouTube user. "To do this job the carer has to have compassion and a calling to do his kind of work. That carer should be jailed."