Former Employee at DCH Northport Charged with Felony Abuse of Patient
A former employee at Northport Medical Center was arrested this week and charged with felony abuse after she allegedly whipped a patient with intellectual disabilities with a phone charging cable, according to new court documents obtained by the Thread.
In a deposition filed Thursday, an investigator with the Northport Police Department said officers were called to the hospital, which is part of the DCH Health System, on June 24th on reports that a patient had been assaulted.
The deposition says the hospital security supervisor explained to police that the patient, a 56-year-old man with impulse control disorder and mild intellectual disabilities, had been attacked by a hospital employee.
According to the charging document, the victim was standing at a nurse's station when 30-year-old Shandreka Shantel Quarles grabbed him by his gown and physically forced him back to his own room.
Quarels allegedly returned to the nurse's station for a short time before walking toward the patient's room with her cell phone's charging cord in hand.
"There she began verbally abusing him and struck him on his right arm several times with the phone charging cord, causing minor lacerations to his arm which were visible while officers spoke with the victim," the document alleges.
The investigator said witness testimony and available video footage all paint the same picture, and a month and a half after the incident, Quarles was arrested Wednesday and charged with felony physical abuse of a protected person.
The charge is rare to see, but Alabama law says it is illegal to abuse, neglect, exploit or emotionally abuse anyone in a nursing home, mental institution and other health care facilities. To violate the law in a way that causes physical injury is a Class C felony.
Court records indicate Quarles was arrested Wednesday and jailed on a $5,000 bond. She was not listed as an inmate in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Thursday evening, which may indicate she has been released on bail.
Andy North, Vice President of Communications for the DCH Health System, said administrators are aware of the case and working with police as the investigation and prosecution go on.
Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more on this case if and when it becomes available.