A resident of a West Side nursing home faces first-degree murder charges for allegedly beating a 72-year-old dementia patient for apparently stealing his food, the Chicago Breaking News Center reported.
The charges were upgraded Dec. 15 against the 62-year-old accused resident, who authorities described as a psychotic felon living in the same facility with the victim. The man is accused of repeatedly punching the victim in the head after the victim reportedly entered his room and began eating his food.
The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. He died Sept. 18.
As the Chicago nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes reported on its Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer blog, the Aug. 21 incident and an investigative report by the Chicago Tribune prompted state lawmakers to look into the issue of violent felons being housed in Illinois nursing homes.
The accused resident, who has a history of drug conviction and aggressive behavior, told authorities he assaulted the victim for eating his lunch of pot roast, green beans and potatoes.
The Breaking News Center reported the nursing home, Columbus Park Nursing and Rehabilitation, was recently investigated by state public health officials for allegations of violence to some of its residents.
The Chicago Tribune reported the home revealed two other assaults had occurred during the previous 90 days while Chicago police reported 11 alleged batteries inside the facility during the same time period.
State health officials opened a broad investigation to determine whether Columbus Park is accurately reporting incidences of violence and abuse. However, health department spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said that the department is inundated with facility incident reports, and “unfortunately with the staffing that we have, we’re not always able to connect the dots.”
Columbus Park employees had documented the accused resident’s history of “violent, aggressive behaviors,” but the facility failed to protect the victim and other residents, the state health department investigation determined.
The incident highlights the need to research a nursing home before choosing where to place a loved one. It also underlines the need for visitors and other guests in nursing home facilities to help police the system.
Click here for advice on finding an Illinois nursing home through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
And click here for reports of Illinois nursing homes with recent violations.
Illinois lawmakers have outlined the rights of nursing home residents in the Nursing Home Care Act.
If you have concerns about a Chicago nursing home, call the Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at Abels & Annes at (866)-99-ABELS for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your concerns.