Elderly abuse at Tucson care home caught on camera

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - New details today, as a Tucson man gets four years probation for abusing a 93-year-old woman at a local care facility.

For the first time the public is seeing some of that abuse, recorded on a hidden video camera. The video may be difficult for some to watch.

It all happened back in July, at Asterion Acres Home Center, near Ina and Camino De La Tierra.  Authorities say 29-year-old Annuhar Ruiz and 68-year-old Alisa Moreno were care givers there.  Investigators stated that Ruiz and Moreno hit the victim with their fists and other objects like remote controls.

The victim's son set up a camera because he was suspicious abuse might have been happening; the evidence was captured and used in the court case.  Both were convicted of vulnerable adult abuse.

In addition to probation, Ruiz will have to pay more than $3000 in restitution.  He has been in jail for the last several months since his arrest in mid-July.  For the victim's son, Lee Brown, justice was served.

"Well, I'm real sad for my mother, she didn't deserve to be treated the way she was.  I'm sorry for the people that did these things to her and I guess I'm happy they did time are doing time for what they did," said Brown.  "Totally uncalled for, for a 93-year-old woman to be abused the way she was."

Prosecutors say on five occasions Moreno threw or tossed Brown onto her bed. It shows Moreno hitting the victim in the face with a remote control, and punching her back. Moreno also grabbed Brown's toes and bent them backwards.

Also captured on video, Ruiz picking up Brown from her wheelchair and throwing her into bed. On July 10, the video shows Ruiz hitting her in the face and mouth. On July 11, Ruiz can be seen ripping off Brown's shirt and throwing it at her.

Ruiz admitted to investigators that he was rough with the victim and in court on Monday he apologized for his actions to her family.

Lee Brown, the victim's son, hopes people will watch the video to become more aware of elder abuse, "elderly abuse is one of those things that is real hard to nail down. People can be abusing somebody and get away with it. They're the easiest victim. In my mother's case, she didn't remember what happened to her the next day. So she couldn't complain about anything. It's just really sad that people would do these things to somebody who can't fight back and especially somebody who can't remember it the next day."

Moreno received the same sentence of probation, plus an additional 60 days in jail, where she is currently serving her time.  Dorris Brown passed away on July 23, as a result of a heart condition, according to her son.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has made the issue of abuse and exploitation of the senior and vulnerable population a top priority, and has initiated the TASKFORCE AGAINST
SENIOR ABUSE, known as TASA. If you would like to learn more about TASA and the warning signs of abuse against seniors, click here.

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