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Arrests Made for Abuse of Disabled, Elders

Law enforcement officials across this week are accusing health care workers and caregivers of abusing the elderly and disabled, according to several Florida media reports

In Miami-Dade county, a woman responsible for the care of an 89-year-old dementia patient instead stole the woman’s life savings, the Palm Beach Post reports. Yamile Reyes now faces charges of exploitation of an elderly person, after stealing more than $60,000 from her patient over the course of a year, according to the Post.

A caregiver at a Mount Dora special-needs facility has been ordered to spend six months in jail and enroll in anger management classes after throwing scalding water on an autistic patient, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Kenyatta Hill, who worked at the Carlton Palms Educational Center, pleaded no contest to felony abuse of a disabled person Monday, but denied causing the second-degree burns on the patient’s chest, according to the Sentinel.

In Orlando, Santiago Torres, Jr., a registered sex offender with multiple prior arrests, appeared before a judge on attempted murder and arson charges after setting fire to his 71-years-old father’s bed this week, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Torres’s father, Santiago Torres, Sr., was hospitalized with severe burns early Tuesday. Torres Jr. is being held on $30,000 bond and faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted of both charges, according to the Sentinel.

And finally, a lawsuit has been filed against a Jacksonville group home on charges of criminal neglect, the Florida Times-Union reports. According to the lawsuit, Michael Rodriguez was severely injured under the care of Herlea’s Residential Care Facility and was left for up to 18 hours without treatment. Owner Leathia Bonner and employee Linda Pickens Ginn were both charged with culpable negligence of an elderly person, according to the Times-Union.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.