August 04, 2017 02:50 PM
Cell phone videos recently obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS show the alleged abuse of a 70-year old woman that prompted prosecutors in Anoka County to charge two caregivers earlier this summer.
Chanta Hampton and Sarah Mills, both 27, are charged with the stalking and abuse of a vulnerable adult by a caregiver.
The women are accused of threatening, verbally abusing and taunting Suzanne Edwards last February - shortly after she arrived at the Lino Lakes Assisted Living facility, according to a criminal complaint.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS confirmed the facility is now under state investigation.
In several videos recorded by another employee, the caregivers are heard saying, "You suck!" and calling Edwards "disgusting."
Kent Edwards, Suzanne's son, said the alleged abuse occurred shortly after his mother was forced to move into assisted living because of Alzheimer's disease.
"The way they treated my mother is maltreatment, they stripped her of her dignity," he said.
Prosecutors said the women threatened to beat up Suzanne. Hampton asked her if she wanted to fight. Prosecutors said Suzanne was worried and told Hampton, "No, you're bigger than me."
Prosecutors contend the abuse extended beyond verbal taunts and insults. Hampton threatened to beat Edwards up and challenged her to a fight, according to to the complaint. In another incident, prosecutors say Hampton held a lighter to Edwards' face, prompting Edwards to ask if she was going to be lit on fire.
Hampton and Mills no longer work at the facility. Their lawyers did not return requests for comment.
The executive director of Lino Lakes Assisted Living did not deny the allegations in a statement that read in part:
"First, we want to say that we are saddened by this incident. At Lino Lakes Assisted Living, we place a priority on the safety and security of our residents. This incident is not representative of the service we provide to our residents."
The kind of abuse highlighted in this case has happened in other nursing homes in Minnesota. There have been 19 cases of substantiated abuse over the last three years, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Eleven cases of criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult have been successfully prosecuted since 2012.
Updated: August 04, 2017 02:50 PM
Created: August 03, 2017 09:16 PM
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