Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the arrest of a certified nurse aide in Buffalo, NY on June 14, 2016. Angelene Burton, 53, is charged with slapping an 88 year old nursing home resident. She was arrested after a witness reported her slapping a resident at Highpointe on Michigan Health Care Facility. The resident, who was not named to protect his privacy, is unable to care for himself and suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and acute kidney failure.
Burton reportedly slapped the resident on the left side of his face with an open hand while she was providing care. After she completed caring for the resident, witnesses saw her slap the patient in the face again. The Attorney General’s Office explains its stance on elder abuse by often issuing statement that recognize nursing home residents as our most vulnerable citizens. They should be assured of their safety while at a nursing facility. AG Schneiderman pointed out in his press release that this type of abuse will not be tolerated and his office will work to ensure patients are properly cared for and treated with respect and dignity.
Burton was arrested and charged with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor; Willful Violation of Health Laws, an unclassified misdemeanor; and Harassment in the Second Degree, a violation. The class A misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of one year. She entered a plea of not guilty at her arraignment in Buffalo.
While the Attorney General’s Office has authority to seek and pursue criminal charges against Ms. Burton, the victim also has civil rights protected under both federal and state law.