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OVH aide allegedly spits on WWII veteran

Courtney Astolfi • May 8, 2014 at 6:30 PM

An Ohio Veterans Home hospital aide was arrested Tuesday for allegedly assaulting a World War II veteran on May 2.

Gene Beese, 49, of the 5000 block of Columbus Ave., was charged with one count of patient abuse, a fourth-degree felony.

Two other nurses were helping the 87-year-old Army veteran get ready for the day around 7 a.m. on May 2. They got the man up and into his wheelchair, but as they tried to put his shirt on, the man became agitated for some reason, Ohio Veterans Home police Chief Gabe Ferencz said.    

The aides backed off and gave the man some time to settle down. Meanwhile, one was called out of the room to take a phone call and Beese apparently stepped in to take her place.

The veteran was still agitated, however, when Beese began assisting him. Beese then allegedly struck the man’s chest with his forearm — hard enough that the other aide heard a loud thump, Ferencz said.

The blow also tipped the man’s wheelchair backwards, almost knocking him over.

In response, the veteran spat at Beese. Beese then spat in the elderly man’s face, Ferencz said.

The second aide informed her supervisor of Beese’s action and the complaint was forwarded to the OVH police office for criminal charges.

Nursing staff later examined the man, finding no injuries or bruises, Ferencz said.

Officers interviewed Beese about the incident, but Ferencz could not disclose whether Beese admitted to the abuse or not.

He was arrested Tuesday and taken to the Erie County jail.

The home placed Beese on unpaid leave pending an administrative investigation.

Ferencz said Beese has had no recent disciplinary action.

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