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Alleged Nursing Home Abuse Captured on Camera

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    Nurses Allegedly Left Disabled Man Bleeding on Floor for 20 Minutes: Court Papers

    Two nurses and a nurses aide have been arrested for allegedly dragging a disabled, bleeding patient across the hallway at a Queens nursing home, and neglecting to treat that patient for 20 patients as he lay on the floor with an open head wound. Roseanne Colletti reports. (Published Wednesday, June 24, 2015)

    Two nurses and a nurses aide have been arrested for allegedly dragging a disabled, bleeding patient across the hallway at a Queens nursing home, and neglecting to treat that patient for 20 minutes as he lay on the floor with an open head wound, authorities said Wednesday. 

    Surveillance cameras captured the alleged abuse at Peninsula Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Far Rockaway in October. The company that operates the nursing home said it reviews surveillance tapes on a daily basis, and contacted the attorney general's office when officials saw the abuse on tape. 

    According to prosecutors, the 51-year-old nursing home resident seen in the Oct. 23 video, who suffered from multiple debilitating conditions including altered mental status, fell in front of Esohe Agbonkpolor, a nurse at the rehab center, while in a hallway and Agbonkpolor did nothing to help.

    Court papers allege the resident was left lying on his back on the floor for 12 minutes, at which time a certified nurse aide at the facility, Emmanuael Ufot, grabbed the injured man by his arm and dragged him into his room.

    About 25 minutes later, the resident, wearing a backless gown that was pulled up over his naked body, emerged from his room, crawling along the floor on his back, bleeding profusely from a wound to the back of his head and another serious wound on his jaw, according to court documents.

    Prosecutors allege in court papers that, for the following 20 minutes, Agbonkpolor and another nurse at the facility, Funmilola Taiwo, largely ignored the resident and never appropriately treated the resident’s wounds, though they were working just a few feet away.

    As they allegedly neglected the man, Ufot, in another attempt to get the resident back into his room, allegedly grabbed him by his hospital gown that was by then twisted around his neck, dragged him along the floor and dropped him in front of his room.

    Taiwo, 34, Agbonkpolor, 39, and Ufot, 36, all face charges of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, a felony, and willful violation of health laws, a misdemeanor. The three defendants were either fired from their jobs at Peninsula or resigned during the course of the investigation.

    They were arrested Wednesday. Information on attorneys for them wasn't immediately available.

    In a statement, nursing home administrator Elliot Norman said it has "zero tolerance toward any type of misconduct, abusive or negligent behavior by staff toward patients." 

    He noted that Cardiff Bay Center LLC took over the nursing home in February 2013 when it was bankrupt and devastated by Sandy, and immediately installed a video surveillance system and established a daily review protocol. 

    The nursing home is cooperating with the attorney general's office and "will continue to maintain absolute vigilance including the extensive use of our video surveillance system to ensure patient safety and the high standard of care we demand our employees deliver to our resident," Norman said. 

    “My office will not tolerate nurses who callously fail to treat or endanger injured patients under their care,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “Caregivers must know that we will vigorously prosecute behavior that endangers our most vulnerable citizens. New Yorkers in nursing facilities deserve quality care and their loved ones deserve to know their caregivers act like the professionals they are."