OKEECHOBEE — A nurse at Okeechobee Health Care Facility was charged with battery on a person 65 years or older after video surveillance reportedly revealed rough handling of a patient. Linda Sue Brown, 62, U.S. 441 Southeast, was arrested Feb. 12 by Okeechobee Police Officer Luis Rojas. Her bond was set at $5,000.
Officer Rojas first responded to the OHCF on Feb. 3 after a complaint of abuse to a patient. When he arrived, Director of Nursing Jody Wakelee told him a nurse was seen on video handling a patient in a manner described, by management, as rough. When Officer Rojas viewed the video, he noted he could see Brown grab the patient and push her down the hallway. On the video, the patient can be seen to fall. Brown is seen picking the victim up and taking her into a room, he continues.
A witness to the event said she saw Brown push the patient down the hall and saw the woman fall on the floor. She said she saw Brown pick the woman up and take her in a room. Then she heard the woman yell, “Stop it!” and “Leave me alone!” over and over again. A second woman said she went into the room a few minutes later and saw the patient sitting in a chair with Brown sitting on top of her. The second witness said Brown asked someone else to get a pair of shoes for the patient.
The patient was reportedly seen trying to get out of the chair by staff members but was unable to do so. She had bruises on the back of her arms from being grabbed, the report notes, and her elbows were red from falling down in the hallway.
It was also noted that when a patient falls, staff is expected to assess the patient for injuries before attempting to lift the person. “Due to ongoing investigations regarding this unfortunate incident, we are unable to comment at this time,” said Sandy Perry, a member of the management team.