Court Papers: Elderly Woman Abused At Nursing Home

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SCRANTON -- A worker at a nursing home in Lackawanna County is facing trial for allegedly abusing a patient.

According to court papers, a former certified nursing assistant assaulted a resident at a nursing home in Scranton last fall. The resident suffers from dementia and the district attorney's office wants the former nursing assistant to be held accountable for his actions.

Joshua Wegielewski, 24, was in court to face charges that he assaulted a resident at the Gardens of Green Ridge nursing home on October 25, 2014.

Court papers say Wegielewski and a coworker held a 76-year-old woman's door shut so she could not leave her room. Court papers also indicate the victim was dragged by her arms and wrists leaving multiple bruises.

The defense attorney in this case says his client was trying to help an agitated patient.

"My client is just a kid. He's taking direction from people who are not only older, but more qualified, better educated, who have been there longer. And he's taking direction from them. You know 'hold the door, stay here, don't let her out.' That's all he's doing," said attorney Paul Walker.

In a preliminary hearing at the courthouse, an investigator with the Agency on Aging told the judge the victim who suffers from dementia had multiple bruises on her wrist, arm and shoulder. Court papers say cameras inside the nursing home show exactly what happened.

"Not only did he restrain her in her room, but the way he grabbed her and forced her and pushed her into the room and caused her bruising was uncalled for," said assistant district attorney Susan Price.

A certified nursing assistant working that night testified in court that he witnessed the alleged abuse. In an interview with investigators, the coworker said Wegielewski told him the victim slapped him.

A few minutes later the witness said he overheard the victim telling Wegielewski to get his hands off of her after following her into her room.

The video surveillance also allegedly shows the victims swinging her arms at Wegielewski.

The assistant district attorney tells Newswatch 16 the victim in this case is doing well and is at a new nursing home.

The judge decided to send all charges in this investigation to court.

12 comments

  • Chris

    In my experience, this sort of thing comes from the top down. There should not have been a chance for any one person to abuse a resident, and really there isn’t, unless the others aren’t doing their job, and management must be lax. If proper procedures were enforced from management, this literally could not have happened. These are hard jobs, and many good people do those jobs which are unpleasant and stressful to do, often in understaffed conditions, while getting bitten, scratched, punched, verbally abused, spit on, and infected with diseases in the process. What I’d like to know is why WNEP decided not to say the name of the institution that has an inability to either screen, train, or properly manage individuals who they hire to do a job, while making a profit at the cost of their under-cared for residents who can’t speak up for themselves in many cases.

  • joemamma

    As a employee who worked at the garden’s and know the truth that there were more guilty employees that were on camera.(lynn) How come they were not found guilty or charged? And Saber was notified and still no action was done to the remaining employees. Please dont put your loved ones there!

  • Equalizer

    Wow if he’s just a kid that makes me a teenager! It’s time to face the facts that this man or at least at his age should be a man needs to be held accountable for his actions! Abusing the elderly is one if many charges he shall be convicted of

  • truthbetold

    ““My client is just a kid. He’s taking direction from people who are not only older, but more qualified, better educated, who have been there longer. And he’s taking direction from them. You know ‘hold the door, stay here, don’t let her out.’ That’s all he’s doing,” said attorney Paul Walker.” Lamest excuse I have ever heard from a defense attorney to date! wow. 24 is not a kid you moron.

  • ken

    He’s no child he is a grown man shame on him for being a coward not only by his actions but by not just owning up to it when its on CAMERA!!

  • ME2

    What was with that goofy mother taking cellphone pictures of the press or onlookers? Does she think other people aren’t supposed to do their job or can’t be around just because her son is accused of a crime? Maybe people should spend less time on their phones and more time on doing what they need to do to make their lives and those of their family, healthier and emotionally well. I understand nursing home residents can be a handful, especially those with dementia, but that’s no excuse for his behavior. One day, he may be one of them.

  • Hugotime2GO

    Oh how terrible! I’ve witnessed first hand dementia patients they are tough to deal with sometimes but you have to keep your cool and treat them better then you’d like yourself treated. They really need someone in this state of mind not an abuser

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