Charges were dropped against a man caught on a terrifying video two years ago viciously beating a 75-year-old Army veteran in the Detroit nursing home where they both lived.
The shocking video from May 15, 2020, showing Jaden Hayden pummeling Norman Bledsoe in the Westwood Nursing Center, went viral. Although Bledsoe died weeks later, his death was not classified as a homicide. Charges were reportedly dropped because Hayden is mentally incompetent to stand trial.
“He shouldn’t be in jail,” Hayden’s father, Marty Hayden, told WXYZ, Detroit’s ABC television affiliate. “So the system will let him down again. He will not be rehabilitated.”
This is a nursing home. Please someone explain why this is happening and unreported. pic.twitter.com/Dzs8QYykIv
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) May 21, 2020
Hayden recorded the beating with his own cell phone, according to police. The video shows Bledsoe covered in blood as he lies helpless on the bed and being pummeled by Hayden, who repeatedly yells, “Get the f*** off my bed!”
Nursing home staff raced in to help Bledsoe, Hayden said had fallen out of his bed, police later said. Hayden was arrested a week later, after police received several calls from citizens who saw the video on social media. Hayden, who police said had “set up his cell phone” in the room, had posted videos of the attack on social media. He was also accused of stealing Bledsoe’s credit cards.
Joely Pointer an employee at the nursing home, said in January, 2021, that Bledsoe was left dazed after the attack, which left him with several broken ribs, fingers, and a broken jaw.
“He had a very large contusion to his head,” she said. “There was blood. He was very confused and he could not give me a statement as to what happened.”
The elder Hayden blames social workers for putting his mentally ill son in a nursing home. Jaden Hayden, who had a history of violent behavior, was living in a group home in May of 2020, when he told his father he was “hearing voices,” according to his father. He was sent to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, where he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and inexplicably sent to the nursing home to recover.
Pointer told ClickOnDetroit.com last year that the nursing home had just opened a COVID unit, and that’s why it had taken in Hayden.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, like former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and governors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania sent COVID patients to nursing homes during the early stages of the pandemic. The policy has been blamed for deadly infections of elderly people in those states.
Hayden is now confined in a Kalamazoo psychiatric hospital.
The Bledsoe family is suing the nursing home and has hired prominent Michigan attorney Jeffrey Fieger.