Three New York City nursing home workers have been charged with abusing patients at a Queens nursing home, authorities said Wednesday.
Two nurses and a nurse’s aide are said by authorities to have been caught on surveillance video in October either abusing a patient or standing by and doing nothing to help a patient in distress, WABC News reports.
In a portion of the video (show below) prosecutors say the suspects can be seen doing nothing to help a patient at the Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center who is clearly bleeding and crawling on the floor. According to court papers, the nurses let the man's head and jaw bleed for twenty minutes and never properly treated the wounds.
In another portion of the video, one of the suspects is seen dragging the man by his gown, prosecutors allege.
In a statement, nursing home administrator Elliot Norman told WABC that the facility has a “zero tolerance toward any type of misconduct, abusive or negligent behavior by staff toward patients."
The abuse, Norman added, was caught by nursing home management as part of a daily video review protocol.
“We immediately provided the surveillance footage to the New York State Attorney General's office and terminated the employees,” Norman said in a statement. “We will continue to fully cooperate with the Attorney General with his ongoing investigation.”
The suspects have been identified as nurses Funmilol Taiwo, 34, and Eshe Agbonkpolor, 39, as well as 36-year-old Emmanuel Ufot, a nurse’s aide.
All three were arrested Wednesday and charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a felony, and willful violation of health laws, a misdemeanor, according to WNBC News.
“My office will not tolerate nurses who callously fail to treat or endanger injured patients under their care,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement, according to WNBC. “Caregivers must know that we will vigorously prosecute behavior that endangers our most vulnerable citizens. New Yorkers in nursing facilities deserve quality care and their loved ones deserve to know their caregivers act like the professionals they are.”
All three defendants were released on their own recognizance after being charged in Queens Criminal Court Wednesday, according to WCBS News.
Agbonkpolor’s attorney, Victor Knapp, suggested to WCBS that there is more to the story than what is shown on the video.
“My client did assist in treating this particular person and in fact did call 911,” Knapp said. “So, there’s a lot of investigation that we still have to do.”
Photo Credit: Screen shot from YouTube