TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two employees at a Pinellas County assisted living facility were arrested after they allegedly battered two elderly residents and blamed the attack on one of the victims, authorities said.
Jail records show Rosa Edwards, 23, and Aneisha Hall, 19, were both arrested and charged with two counts of battery on a person 65 years of age or older.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, surveillance video shows them start an altercation with an elderly resident who was pushing a woman’s wheelchair down the hall at Ivy Ridge Assisted Living Facility in unincorporated St. Petersburg. Deputies said Edwards was seen laughing at the victim and whipping him with a lanyard before a physical altercation ensued.
According to deputies, Edwards and Hall grabbed the man and took him to the ground, causing the woman’s wheelchair to tip over. Deputies said the pair ran away and left the victims on the ground. The man and the woman did not suffer any injuries, according to the news release.
Deputies said Edwards and Hall reported the incident to a coworker, but claimed the man battered the woman, and denied any involvement. However, the Executive Director of the facility was suspicious of their claims, reviewed surveillance video of the incident and reported it to the authorities.
When interviewed by detectives, Edwards admitted to using excessive force and said she should have handled the situation differently.
Deputies said an investigation was ongoing.
Both Edwards and Hall were suspended and are facing termination.
WFLA 8 On Your Side reached out to Validus Senior Living and received this statement:
“Upon learning of the incident, the Executive Director of Inspired Living at Ivy Ridge placed two associates on leave and initiated her investigation. As part of that investigation, the incident was reported to the Pinellas County Sherriff’s office and state agencies. Within 24 hours the Inspired Living team had completed their due diligence and upon completion both employees were terminated. The residents received medical examinations that revealed no injuries and returned to the community. The residents’ families have been notified. 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.”Vice President of Marketing Brian Morrison