James Spann, a CNA at Walnut Acres nursing home was arrested after being accused of attacking a 73-year-old resident earlier this year.  Spann is charged with official misconduct and aggravated battery to a senior citizen. Spann put the resident in a chokehold and a headlock, according to police.

The incident happened on April 6th, but wasn’t reported to police until April 16th. The nursing home reported it to the state and an inspector came out to investigate. The inspector conducted an investigation, and then turned it over to police.


An investigation at Sapphire Tucson Nursing and Rehabilitation nursing home began after a 63 year old resident reported she was sexually assaulted by an employee.

“Obviously, you can’t trust anybody,” said Selina Poss, the resident’s daughter.

Poss said her mother told her she was sexually assaulted by a nurse tech. The man put his genitals in her hand and then started inappropriately touching her. Poss claimed her mother told other employees what happened before their phone call, but nothing was done.

“He told her, ‘This is our secret,'” Poss said.

Poss said she is frustrated over the lack of help by the facility.

“They just give us every runaround. Nobody really talks, nobody says anything,” Poss said. “Everything I’ve found out, I basically had to call, to make the report for my mom.”
“It’s hard to watch her. It’s hard to see what it’s done to her,” Poss said. “She’s already had a traumatic life. She’s already had to go through stuff, I’m supposed to be her protector. I’m the one who is supposed to take care of her and I just feel like I failed.”

Poss is working with her mother’s insurance provider to get her moved into her home for care.

Poss said she won’t stop fighting for an answer. Not just for her mother, but for other residents at the facility.

“I’m going to do everything in my power … to make sure this man is not going to do it again,” Poss said.


Doris Mitchell suffered a heat stroke from being left in an assisted living facility’s van for six hours. A lawsuit was filed against Elmcroft of Montgomery LLC alleging negligence and outrage.  According to the lawsuit, the facility had taken Mitchell on a field trip with other residents. Several hours later, the daughter of Mitchell received a phone call from the facility asking if she had picked up her mother and that she was “missing.” Shortly after, Mitchell was found inside the van which was parked in the facility’s parking lot with the windows rolled up. According to the lawsuit, Mitchell was rushed to Jackson Hospital where she was diagnosed with a heat stroke and other medical complications.

“We hope to be able to get the full set of facts and find out exactly what happened. This obviously has to be a systemic failure in the system at the facility for something like this to happen,” J.P Sawyer, the attorney representing the family, said. “I’ve been handling these kind of cases for 25 years and I always say nothing shocks me, but this did shock me. It’s just you know unbelievable that they could leave someone on a van for that long and not recognize that she was missing.”

The woman’s family has sent WSFA 12 News the following statement regarding the incident:

What our mother has endured is beyond our comprehension. We are still trying to absorb the appalling circumstances and we provide her the love and care she needs, and we ask for your prayers during this extremely difficult family crisis.”

Her family released the following statement after her wrongful death:

“Our family grieves today for our mother, Doris Mitchell. Only weeks ago, our mother experienced an ordeal that none of us could possibly imagine. She was locked in a closed van, alone, for over six hours on a day on which the heat index exceeded 105 degrees. The physical and emotional trauma of what she went through has broken our hearts.

When our mother got to the hospital, she had severe heat stroke and failing kidneys. Her fever was so high, they had to pack our 83 year old mother in ice. We have been praying for a recovery, but the episode was ultimately too much for our mother to bear.

It is hard for us to stop thinking about those horrible six hours. There is physical evidence to suggest that our mother, who is unable to walk, tried to escape the van. She could not. She was traumatized by the very people we trusted to take care of her.

We want to thank everyone for their messages of love and prayers for our family. It has meant so much during this extremely difficult time. Thank you.”

On June 12, 2019, a report released by the Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General revealed that Nursing Home Abuse remains largely unreported. The report estimates that one-in-five high-risk hospital emergency room Medicare claims for treatment provided during the 2016 calendar year were the result of potential abuse or neglect, including injury of unknown source, of beneficiaries residing in skilled nursing facilities (SNF).

The report revealed that nursing homes are failing to comply with regulations established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Under these regulations, SNFs are required to report incidents of abuse and neglect to Survey Agencies, who are then required to report the incidents to the CMS or local enforcement agencies. However, both SNFs and Survey Agencies have been failing to meet their federal requirements. Currently, the CMS may not be doing all they can to prevent abuse as it does not require all potential incidents to be tracked in the Automated Survey Processing Environment Complaints/Incidents Tracking System.

The Office of Inspector General (“The Office”) is urging CMS to take action since “preventing, detecting, and combating elder abuse requires CMS, Survey Agencies, and SNFs to meet their responsibilities.”

The Office suggests that CMS work with Survey Agencies to train SNF staff on identifying and recording all potential incidences of abuse or neglect. They also suggest that CMS require Survey Agencies to record and track all incidents of potential abuse or neglect in SNFs, as well as all referrals made to local law enforcement and other agencies. CMS concurred with these recommendations and stated they are creating a plan to ensure more accurate reporting in the future.

James Riley was arrested for allegedly sexually contacting residents at the Good Samaritan Home nursing home he worked at as a Chaplain.  Riley, 58, of Quincy was charged with Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse of a Person Over 60.

The police were notified and advised that residents had alleged inappropriate sexual contact by the Chaplain, Riley, who is no longer employed at the home.


Video footage caught two CNAs from Abington of Glenview nursing home abusing and taunting a 91 year-old demented and vulnerable adult named Margaret Collins. The video included an aid throwing gowns on the resident when staff was aware of her fear of the gowns. The cruelty made the family feel obligated to file a lawsuit, not only for their family member, but also to bring awareness to the all too common abuse of the elderly.

The two CNA’s, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were both fired and arrested for their actions. Montesa was responsible for recording the video, including the caption of “Margaret hates gowns” with two laughing emoji’s. Cortez was actively waving and placing the gown on Margaret, even though she was clearly upset and in distress. Margaret’s daughter states that her mother suffers from anxiety due to the incident.

With the National Council on Aging reporting that 1 in 10 American elders over 60 experience some form of elder abuse, situations like Margaret’s cannot be left unreported. Furthermore, residents with Dementia oftentimes are unable to report their abuse, leaving it to their families to look for the signs. Margaret’s daughter, Joan Biebel, stated “If they [the CNAs] were in her room, they should have been there for a reason ― to help her, assist her ― not to exploit her and threaten her and demean her and post it on social media,”. Reporting these situations of elder abuse is a way to inform others of the signs of abuse and report it.

Rowenna Carlet Cann, a nurse’s assistant at the Willows of Wildwood, was recently arrested for an alleged attack on a dementia resident.

Cann’s coworker saw her kick the 81-year-old man who is  “nonverbal,” according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department. The man had tried to get away from Cann, but she pursued and then kicked him. Prior to that she struck him three times on the shoulder.

Last year, a staffer was arrested in an attack on a fellow employee at the Willows of Wildwood. Earlier this year, a staffer was arrested in the theft of pain medication at the assisted living center.  These kind of incidents often happen because of short-staffing and burn-out.

She was arrested on a felony charge of crimes against a person and booked at the Sumter County Detention Center. She was released after posting $2,000 bond.

Voorhees Care and Rehabilitation Center lost its air conditioning on a hot summer day.  While temperatures rose throughout the day placing residents and caregivers, management refused to do anything about the dangerous and oppressive heat.  A worker said many of the lights in the building were off to try to keep the place cool. Nursing home facilities in New Jersey are required to establish a written heat emergency action plan which mandates the procedures to be followed if the indoor air temperature is 82 degrees or higher for a continuous period of four hours or longer, officials said.

Finally, a visitor was so concerned about the community, the police were called as the heat wave sent temperatures outside to triple digits.  Dozens of first responders began arriving to help evacuate more than 100 residents out of the facility.

Nursing home owners and operators declined to say why they did not alert anyone to the crisis, or what went wrong with their air conditioning system.

The nursing home is rated at the bottom for its quality of care, ranked “much below average,” according to the most recent report by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That report in April 2018 concluded the facility had failed to maintain a clean and sanitary environment that was in good repair.  According to state health officials, the department was never notified by the facility about the deteriorating conditions, and was not involved in the evacuation.

Inside the facility’s lobby, though, it still felt muggy in the early afternoon. A portable air conditioning unit sat on the floor near the entrance, an exhaust tube snaking into the ceiling.

Landon Terrel has been convicted of elder neglect for his actions against  91-year-old Adam Bennett who died last year. On Aug. 15, 2017, Bennett was found in his room at Sunrise Assisted Living Center with a bruised lip. Bennett told a day-shift caregiver: “He punched me,” while motioning to his face, chest, and groin. Soon after, Bennett became unresponsive.

Caregivers at the facility called for an ambulance. He was rushed to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where his injuries included facial bruising, multiple rib fractures, and a collapsed lung. He never regained consciousness and died on Aug. 18. Cobb’s Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Christopher Gulledge, ruled Mr. Bennett’s death resulted from blunt force trauma as a result of assault.

Evidence collected by police showed that Terrel was the only male working the overnight shift at Sunrise that night. Terrel denied hitting Bennett and insisted he saw no facial bruising when he last checked on Bennett just before his shift ended at 6 am. But he told investigators he “caught” Bennett as he fell out of bed the previous evening and Bennett had banged his chest into the bed. Terrel said he checked on Bennett hourly throughout the night and that Bennett repeatedly complained of pain. Terrel admitted he used “poor judgment” in repeatedly ignoring those complaints.

After a week long trial and about three days of deliberations, a Cobb jury convicted Terrel of elder neglect and found him not guilty of two counts of elder abuse and one count of felony murder based on abuse. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on the charge of felony murder based on neglect. Terrel faces up to 20 years in prison.

WSBTV reported on another resident being sexually abused. This time it was all caught on a hidden video.  The sexual assaults are alleged to have occurred between June 1 and July 3 at an assisted living health care facility in Seattle.

Nshimiyiana O. Hamzat is accused of  repeatedly raping a disabled victim while he cared for her at the facility. He is charged with first-degree rape, second-degree rape and indecent liberties.  Police said Hamzat was employed at the facility as a nursing assistant and worked as a care provider to multiple vulnerable adults at the time of the sexual assaults.

The victim, a 50-year-old woman, complained to her family that she was being assaulted in the facility, according to prosecutors.

Police said a family member called police on July 2 to report the sexual assaults.

The family member then installed a camera in the woman’s room.

“The camera captured the defendant sexually assaulting her twice a day, on two different days. The videos did not capture the totality of the sexual abuse the victim suffered at the hands of the defendant,” prosecutors wrote in charging documents.

In a probable cause document, police said that when they contacted Hamzat he said he had not had any inappropriate sexual contact complaints and denied having done anything wrong.

When Hamzat was shown video of himself abusing the woman, police said he continued to maintain that he was doing patient care.