Three workers at a North Carolina assisted living home have been arrested following allegations that they were running a fight club–style operation made up of elderly patients with dementia.
Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 20, Taneshia Deshawn Jordan, 26, and Marilyn Latish McKey, 32, were arrested on assault charges earlier this month, a spokesperson for the Winston-Salem Police Department told BuzzFeed News.
The eldercare facility, called Danby House, specializes in caring for patients with Alzheimer's, according to their website.
Police said the three Danby House employees were allegedly encouraging the residents to physically fight each other. In at least one case, one of the employees allegedly assaulted a resident by shoving them.
The workers also filmed the fights and egged the residents on, police told BuzzFeed News.
No injuries were reported as a result of any of the incidents.
Police began investigating in June when they were first alerted to the alleged elder abuse.
In video footage of the fight between the two residents, one of the elderly women can be seen falling on a bed and yelling, “Let go, help me, help me, let go," as the other woman in the fight continues to hit her, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.
One or more of the workers can reportedly be heard saying, “Punch her in the face" and “Stop screaming, (expletive)" in the video. Another reportedly asked if someone was filming the fight and if the video could be sent to her.
One of the elderly women reportedly choked the other, causing one of the workers to say, “You’re making her turn red." The workers allegedly did not intervene.
In an interview with police, one of the arrested women reportedly said the woman who was pushed and choked in the fight was a “pain the butt" and that's why they filmed it.
All three women have been charged with assaulting an individual with a disability and are currently out on bond. They are expected to appear in court on Nov. 14. It is unclear if they have retained an attorney.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has barred Danby House from admitting new residents following the allegations, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
A spokesperson for Danby House did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment, but told Fox 8 that upon learning of the allegations in June, all three workers were fired.
The facility has since implemented a stronger vetting process and more staff training, the spokesperson added.