Crime

Nurse accused of tying uncooperative patient to bed, spraying face

Tamara Hager Brito, a nurse at Iredell Memorial Hospital, has been accused of tying a handicapped man with dementia to his bed and spraying him with body lotion when the 91-year-old wasn’t cooperative, police said. Brito, 52, is charged with two counts of assault on a handicapped person and one count of false imprisonment.
Tamara Hager Brito, a nurse at Iredell Memorial Hospital, has been accused of tying a handicapped man with dementia to his bed and spraying him with body lotion when the 91-year-old wasn’t cooperative, police said. Brito, 52, is charged with two counts of assault on a handicapped person and one count of false imprisonment.

A nurse at Iredell Memorial Hospital has been accused of tying a handicapped man with dementia to his bed and spraying him with body lotion when the 91-year-old wasn’t cooperative, police said.

Tamara Hager Brito, of Statesvile, is charged with two counts of assault on a handicapped person and one count of false imprisonment. She was released from Iredell County jail on Monday after posting $20,000 bail.

The allegations of abuse were first reported on Thursday by the man’s daughter. The victim was a patient in the skilled nursing area of Iredell Memorial Hospital when the alleged abuse occurred.

On Friday, an Iredell Memorial Hospital employee walked into the elderly man’s hospital room “and found the victim had been tied to his bed by Brito,” according to a news release from the Statesville Police Department.

“Brito was still in the room and in addition to tying the victim to the bed, she had sprayed the victim in the face with a cleansing body lotion, containing Dimethicone, used to treat dry skin,” according to the news release. The release said patients in the area where the man was being treated are not permitted to have restraints placed on them.

The news release doesn’t say what, if any, disciplinary action was imposed on Brito, or why she was still allowed to care for the man.

On Monday, police say, Brito and another employee were in the patient’s room moving him from a bed to a recliner. “The patient was uncooperative and Brito began spraying the victim in the face with the cleaning body lotion again.”

Evidence in the case was presented to the Iredell District Attorney’s office, which decided to pursue charges.

The news release says Brito was no longer an employee at the facility.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.: 704-358-5046, @CleveWootson

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