Elderly abuse caught on camera at Creve Coeur facility

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CREVE COEUR, MO (KTVI) - The number of cases of old people being abuse is climbing. As America’s population grows older, there are more cases of abuse. Creve Coeur police charged a woman after she was caught on camera.

A video from a care facility in Creve Coeur shows an 84-year-old man as he enters room with his walker. He tried to get something out of a drawer, police say the care giver 31-year-old Ernestine Cobbins struggled with him and then threw him to the floor. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured.

“It was a forceful push. It looked like his head did strike the ground, but there were no other apparent injuries,” said Creve Coeur Detective Tom Exline.

He said the facility handled the case correctly calling the state and police. Officers reviewed the tape.

Cobbins was charged with third-degree elderly abuse. She pleaded guilty and was given two years’ probation and more than 100 hours community service.

“Not common at all we don’t really receive many reports of this type of nature,” Exline said.

His department may not see a lot of elder abuse but the folks at Voyce do. It’s an organization that protects older folks.

“We play a very key role in sending our volunteer ombudsmen to nursing homes on a weekly basis to talk to residents understand what their issues are and to ensure they really are getting best quality of health care,” said Mary Lynn Donovan, executive director of Voyce.

Cobbins said the whole thing was an accident. She said she was two months pregnant at the time with a high risk pregnancy. She said the older man was known to be combative and she was trying to keep him away from some drugs.

If Cobbins completes her probation and community service without any problem the charge will be removed from her record.

You can report elderly abuse and neglect by contacting the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. by calling 1-800-392-0210.