Nursing assistant accused of shoving elderly Alzheimer’s patient

JACKSON, Tenn. — Police arrested a woman accused of shoving an elderly patient at a behavioral health center in Jackson. The employee now faces a criminal charge.

Lashonda Hankins appeared Monday in Jackson City Court charged with abuse or neglect of an adult.

Mervin Carney said Hankins shoved his mother. “She pushed her down and left her there and they covered it up, said she fell down, until we reported it,” Carney said.

Hankins is accused of shoving a 76-year-old Alzheimer’s patient Nov. 1 at Oak Hills Behavioral Center in Jackson, according to court documents. Police said Hankins worked as a registered certified nursing assistant at the facility.

“I don’t think she should even be out because she may get another job like that,” Carney said.

Police said video shows Hankins push the woman, who falls and hits her head. Officers said the video then shows Hankins walk away without helping the patient.

Hankins told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News after court she did not push anyone.

Police said the patient suffered a head wound that required first aid by other staff on duty. “She’s complaining of headaches,” Carney said. “She’s still doing that now.”

Carney said they took his mother out of the facility. “We decided not to put her back in a home because she’s crying and stuff,” he said. “She thinks she’s going back.”

Hankins is free on a $5,000 bond. She’s scheduled to return to court at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 7.

In a statement to WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News, Oak Hills Behavioral Center said Monday that they take any allegations of abuse seriously.

“Our facility’s policies and procedures prohibit abuse and neglect of any kind, including but not limited to physical, sexual or verbal abuse. If a situation arises in which abuse or neglect is alleged, the center reports these concerns to Adult Protective Services immediately and an investigation occurs,” CEO Rachel Everett said in an email. “We cannot comment on any open investigations, however we are/will always cooperate fully and help to promote a safe environment for our patients. Any violation of patient rights or allegations of abuse/neglect between an employee or former employee and patients in our behavioral center are taken very seriously and if founded our action of termination, is swift and immediate. Oak Hills Behavioral Care works very closely with the authorities in conducting any such investigation.”