Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ex-nursing home employee charged with abuse, mischief and harassment in

A Decatur woman accused of abusing an Athens nursing home resident and harassing and scratching the car of the employee who reported her has been arrested and charged by Athens Police.

Athens Police on Thursday arrested Larosalyn “Missy” Etherich Freeman, 39, of 1510 Riverview Ave., on charges of neglect or abuse of an aged or disable adult, first-degree criminal mischief and three counts of harassment, Capt. Floyd Johnson said Friday.

Freeman is accused of abusing a resident at Athens Convalescent Center in mid-November, Johnson said. He declined to specify how she allegedly mishandled the resident, but said the victim was not injured and did not require medical treatment.

Freeman was fired because of the incident and is currently barred from holding a caregivers license, Johnson said.

John Wallace, owner and administrator of the nursing home, told The News Courier on Friday there were no signs of harm to the resident.

“We took immediate action, discharged the employee and immediately reported the incident to the proper authorities,” Wallace said.

Records show Freeman was being held in the Limestone County Jail in lieu of posting a $5,000 bail on the two felony charges — neglect and criminal mischief. Bail on the three misdemeanor harassment charges was $1,500, records show.

Sgt. Dustin Lansford arrested Freeman following an investigation.

“In early December, while investigating several harassing communication cases, Lansford was made aware of a case the Alabama Department of Public Health was investigating involving the abuse of a patient reported to them by Athens Convalescent Center,” Johnson said.

The nursing home had already reported the incident to the Public Health Department when it occurred in mid-November, the captain said.

After talking to one of the Public Health investigators and interviewing witnesses, Lansford obtained an arrest warrant for Freeman, and she was arrested Thursday in Decatur by Lansford and Investigator Johnny Campbell, Johnson said.

Freeman was also charged Thursday with first-degree criminal mischief for allegedly scratching an employee’s car in the parking lot of the nursing home and with three counts of harassment relating to an employee, he said.

Johnson credited nursing home employees for their proper handling of the incident.

“It should be noted the Athens Convalescent Center has met all obligations required in investigating and reporting this case,” he said.

Ex-nursing home employee charged with abuse, mischief and harassment » Local News » The News-Courier in Athens, Alabama

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