Three women have been charged with creating a makeshift fight club at an elderly care facility in North Carolina. Their fighters were the dementia patients under their care at Danby House, an assisted living facility in Winston-Salem, police say.
Marilyn Latish McKey, 32, Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20, and Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, 26, were arrested and charged with assault on an individual with a disability in early October, according to authorities.
The Winston-Salem Police Department received a tip in June about elder abuse at the assisted living and memory-care facility, according to Fox 8. Police investigators and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services began looking into the accusation.
According to court documents reviewed by the Winton-Salem Journal, McKey, Tyson and Deshawn filmed two residents in Danby House’s “special care unit” for dementia patients and encouraged them to fight.
Resident 8 and Resident 9, as the women are referred to in the documents, fought in Resident 8′s room as the trio of health-care workers watched and recorded on a phone, according to the Journal. One woman was 70 years old, and the other was 73.
Video shows the patients falling onto a bed in Resident 8′s room as Resident 9 continued her assault, according to court documents reviewed by Journal. One shouted for help but received none, the Journal reported.
According to the accounts reported by the Winston-Salem Journal: One of the three Danby House employees can be heard in the video saying, “Stop screaming, [expletive].” Someone also prompts one of the residents to “punch her in the face.” Another is concerned that the phone is actually recording the video, so that it could be sent to her later.
McKey, Tyson and Jordan were fired in June when Danby House learned about the allegations, according to a spokesperson for Affinity Living LLC, the parent company for Danby House.
“Administrators have been working closely with the Winston-Salem Police Department throughout its investigation to ensure justice is served. Additional staff training and a more rigorous vetting process for all new and existing employees at Danby House has been implemented,” a representative of Affinity Living told the Journal. “Danby House has undergone leadership changes in recent months, and we look at situations like these as opportunities to improve upon the high standard of care we provide for our residents.”
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services sent letters to the executive officer of Danby House on Aug. 21, outlining multiple violations concerning patient care. The department suspended the home from taking in new patients, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Affinity Living Group is the fourth-largest provider of Alzheimer’s care and memory care in the country, according to its website.
None the victims who were filmed suffered injuries from the fighting and shoving, Lt. Gregory Dorn told The Washington Post in an interview.
“It’s sad, the whole situation,” he said, noting the victims’ cognitive troubles.
Dorn said McKey, Tyson and Jordan were recording the misdeeds on their phones and that several videos have been seized and placed into evidence. Authorities were told that there were some videos of the assaults on social media, but those files haven’t been located, he said.
The women, who are out on bond, face Class A misdemeanors, which come with a maximum penalty of 150 days of incarceration and a discretionary fine. Their next court date is Nov. 14.