Two women who worked at an assisted living facility in unincorporated St. Petersburg have been arrested after deputies say they battered two residents, then blamed one of those residents for what happened to the other.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said the executive director of Inspired Living at Ivy Ridge, 7179 40th Avenue North, reported it after becoming suspicious about the employees’ story about “a resident-on-resident battery” at the facility on Sunday and watching the surveillance video.
Detectives investigated and determined that while a man who lived at the facility was pushing a wheelchair carrying a female resident down the hall, 23-year-old Rosa Edwards “began to whip the male resident with a lanyard, while laughing,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Wednesday.
A scuffle broke out, and Edwards and 19-year-old Aneisha Xitavia Hall took the man down to the ground, the release said. The man still was holding onto the woman’s wheelchair, which fell sideways and spilled the woman onto the ground.
At that point, according to the Sheriff’s Office, Edwards and Hall then ran off — leaving the man and the woman lying on the ground. Neither resident was injured.
The two women told a colleague that the man had battered the woman in the wheelchair and “they were not involved,” the release said.
However, deputies said when they interviewed Edwards, “she admitted to using excessive force when dealing with the incident and stated that they should have handled it differently.”
Edwards and Hall were arrested and booked into a Pinellas County jail Tuesday night, jail records show. Both later were released on bail.
They each face two counts of battery on a person 65 years or older, the release said.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the assisted living facility has suspended both Edwards and Hall, with termination pending.