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OVH nurse charged with assault

Courtney Astolfi • Jan 1, 2014 at 12:50 PM

An Ohio Veterans Home nurse is facing felony charges for allegedly assaulting an 83-year-old patient Christmas Day at the Perkins Township facility.

Karin Serdynski, 55, of Lorain, was charged with patient abuse and assault, each fourth-degree felonies.

On Christmas evening, Serdynski was administering medication to a veteran who served in the Korean War when the man became uncooperative, Ohio Veterans Home police Chief Gabe Ferencz said.

The man had taken his pills with a sip of orange juice, but when he refused to swallow them, Serdynski allegedly grabbed onto him.

Reacting to the nurse’s actions, the man spit out the medicine and juice — with some of the mixture landing on Serdynski.

An aide later described the incident to Ohio Veterans Home police. She said Serdynski then “became angered and out of control” Ferencz said.

Serdynski allegedly grabbed the man’s arms and began shaking him. When he turned away to avoid Serdynski’s onslaught, she grabbed him a second time, struck his back and pulled on his hair, Ferencz said.

The nurse’s aide then intervened — she stopped Serdynski’s alleged assault and reported it to supervisors. The entire incident played out in just a few seconds, Ferencz said.

The veteran suffered bruises on both arms and fingernail scratches on his scalp, consistent with the aide’s account of events, Ferencz said.

"We don’t know why she did it, other than it appears she lost her temper” Ferencz said.

Serdynski has been a nurse at the Ohio Veterans Home for four years. In that time, she has only been reprimanded twice for tardiness, Ferencz said.

The man, meanwhile, only recently moved to the Perkins Township facility. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. He moved to OVH from Defiance, Ferencz said.

“He was treated here and is doing fine” Ferencz said.

Serdynski is currently banned from the property, but is still employed by the Ohio Veterans Home pending an administrative investigation.

She was arrested Dec. 26 and taken to the Erie County jail. Serdynski posted $10,000 bond and was released about two hours after she was brought in, according to jail documents.

Serdynski appeared at an arraignment hearing Dec. 27 in Sandusky Municipal Court. Her plea hearing is slated for Jan. 8, according to court documents.

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