News and Commentary

Elderly Man Beaten In Viral Nursing Home Video Dies

"His eating habits went downhill after (the alleged assault), and he lost quite a bit of weight."
Detroit Police Department

In May, a horrifying video surfaced showing an elderly Detroit nursing home patient being repeatedly beaten by a 20-year-old man at a nursing home in Detroit, Michigan.

Now that elderly man is dead.

Norman Bledsoe, 75, a resident at the Westwood Nursing Center, was allegedly videotaped by his roommate, Jaden T. Hayden (pictured above), as Hayden repeatedly punched Bledsoe. The attack left Bledsoe with four broken fingers, broken ribs, and a broken jaw, The Daily Mail noted.

According to Bledsoe’s nephew Kevin, who confirmed his uncle’s death on Monday, after the attack, Bledsoe had been depressed and not eating properly.

“His eating habits went downhill after (the alleged assault), and he lost quite a bit of weight,” he told The Detroit News. Kevin Bledsoe said he could not visit his uncle because of restrictions related to coronavirus, stating, “We finally were able to see him last week. He wasn’t doing very good. I guess there just wasn’t anything else they could do for him.”

“The two had been paired up after Hayden was diagnosed with COVID-19 and needed to be quarantined. Per Michigan policy at the time, infected people were sent to nursing homes as a way to isolate them from the rest of the state to avoid spreading the virus further. The protocol drew strong criticism from many due to the residents who already lived in nursing homes,” Fox 2 Detroit noted.

According to WXYZ, the deceased man’s family plans to move forward with a lawsuit against the nursing home. The family is being represented by attorney Geoffrey Fieger.

Hayden’s father stated after the attack that his son had mental issues, telling the press, “I just don’t want people to think that he’s this vicious individual. He’s got mental issues … Had I known he was there, I would’ve never have consented to it.” Fox 2 Detroit reported. He said his son wasn’t sleeping, was feeling anxious, and was hearing voices when he contacted his father.

He added of the attack, “That hurts to see that. What he did is wrong and (I offer) my apologies to the victim’s family.” He also said his son had contacted 911 and was transported to a mental health facility, adding that there was a pending case in Washtenaw County against his son, who had been accused of assaulting a staffer at another group home.

Following the release of the video, President Trump saw the story, commenting on Twitter, “Is this even possible to believe? Can this be for real? Where is the nursing home, how is the victim doing?”

In June, Hayden was ordered by a judge to undergo a competency evaluation. As reported by Detroit News, the judge lowered Hayden’s bond from $300,000 to $50,000 and, if released, was ordered to have “no contact with the victim or the nursing home.”

Related: COVID Survivor Andrea Bocelli Says Italy’s Lockdown ‘Humiliated’ Him

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