A 34-year-old nursing assistant in Florida was arrested for allegedly posting a photograph on social media showing her physically abusing an elderly dementia patient under her care to garner more attention online.
Gabriel V. Woods was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of aggravated abuse and neglect of an elderly person, a third-degree felony, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, an employee at the healthcare facility where Woods was employed as a certified nursing assistant contacted the Mount Dora Police Department and reported receiving an anonymous message on her work email advising her that a patient was being abused at the facility. The anonymous email included a video and a photograph recently posted on Woods’ social media account.
The employee allegedly showed officers the email, the video and photograph.
Police wrote that the video posted to Woods’ TikTok page showed her wearing her work uniform and “extremely distinct gold/silver bracelets” while dancing to a song in what appears to be a facility bathroom.
The video was captioned: “Nurse: The resident fell out of bed. Me: but this song hit I’ll pick her up in a min.”
The photograph attached to the anonymous email was allegedly posted to Woods’ Facebook page and is far more disturbing. Police said the photo showed an 88-year-old dementia patient lying in bed with a heart emoji inserted into the shot and placed over the patient’s face.
“In the photograph, an arm believed to belong to Woods is seen with the same distinct gold/silver bracelets,” the affidavit states. “This arm believed to belong to Woods is extended towards [the patient’s] face, grabbing and twisting [the patient’s] lips. This caused [the patient’s] top lip to appear white in the photograph. This white area around [the patient’s] upper lip is indicative of an area of skin which has a significant amount of force being applied to it.”
The photograph was allegedly captioned, “Twisting my Resident Lip Because Uon S— Before Shift Change.”
The photo has since been removed from Woods’ Facebook page.
In an interview with police, Woods allegedly admitted that she was the person in both the video and photo and that she was the owner of both social media accounts to which they were posted, the affidavit states. Police say she also conceded that she took the video and photo on May 1.
Woods allegedly claimed that the circumstances from the caption were not real and that no patient was actually “waiting for assistance after falling.”
Police say Woods also admitted to “actively touching” the elderly patient’s face as the photo depicted but said she was “not doing so forcefully.”
“This is contradicted by the white area around [the victim’s] mouth which is indicative of force being applied to the area,” police wrote in the affidavit. “Woods confirmed that during the photograph there was no legitimate reason to touch [the patient’s] mouth other than making the social media post. This showed the touch was unnecessary, unwanted, and likely caused [the patient] pain and fear.”
According to police, Woods attempted to “justify this battery” by claiming “it was posted on social media because of a trend on social to gain likes.”
Following her arrest, she was released on $2,000 bond.
Woods on Friday posted a news article about her arrest to her Facebook page along with a laughing emoji.
Law&Crime emailed Florida’s health department seeking the status of Woods’ nursing assistant’s license.
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