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.