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June 16, 2014

Elder abuse charge

THOMASVILLE — A former Southern Pines Senior Living employee is charged with abusing an 81-year-old resident at the 423 Covington Ave. facility.

Shauntavia Bates, 25, 1210 N. Short Broad St., who was arrested Friday, is charged with abusing the Southern Pines resident on May 16.

“An employee was walking around and heard a bumping noise in an apartment and heard a women’s muffled tone repeating, ‘Help,’ “ said Scott Newberry, Thomasville Police Department (TPD) detective.

The employee entered the woman’s apartment and saw her standing in the shower. The suspect was spraying the resident with a removable shower wand, the detective said.

“The victim was calling for help, but was unable to because her mouth was filling with water,” the detective said.

Newberry said the witness also saw the suspect strike the woman on the back of the neck with her hand and heard her tell the resident to “shut up.”

When the witness asked the employee what she was doing, the victim stepped from the shower.

The witness told her supervisor what she had seen, and the supervisor did not report the incident to proper authorities, Newberry said.

Close to a month later, when Southern Pines personnel were addressing another matter, the supervisor told them to look into the shower incident, Newberry said.

The incident was reported to police Thursday. Bates was arrested Friday and charged with elder abuse. She was released from the Thomas County Jail on a $5,100 bond.

The supervisor, Stacey Sams, 45, 406 E. College St., Valdosta, surrendered to police late Monday afternoon. Sams is charged with failure to report abuse of a disabled or elderly person, a misdemeanor. Sams was released on a $500 bond.

Carol Whitney, Southern Pines executive director, said she could not comment on Sams’ status at Southern Pines, pending results of the investigation.

Bates is no longer employed at Southern Pines.

“We’re fully cooperating with the police in the investigation, which we initiated as soon as we were made aware of the alleged abuse,” Whitney said. “Charges have been brought against the alleged perpetrator, and, of course, she is no longer working with us.”

Whitney said Southern Pines is working with law enforcement, and the facility does not want to do anything to jeopardize the police investigation.

Lt. Wade Glover, commander of the TPD Criminal Investigations Division, said Southern Pines contacted police immediately upon learning about the assault allegation.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.

 

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