Man, 20, charged in beating of 75-year-old nursing home roommate

The Detroit News

A 20-year-old Detroit nursing home resident has been charged in the beating of a 75-year-old roommate after allegedly posting a video on social media that went viral and sparked outrage over its viciousness.

Jaden Hayden

Jaden T. Hayden of Ypsilanti was charged with two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, theft and two counts of credit card theft for the incident that allegedly occurred at Westwood Nursing Center on the city's northwest side.

He was arraigned Sunday in 34th District Court in Romulus. Bond was set at  $300,000 cash.

Hayden was sharing a room with the victim at the nursing home facility on the 16850 block of Schaefer Highway when the incident allegedly took place 6:55 p.m. May 15. He set up his cellphone and then began punching the elderly roommate in the head, authorities said.

The man allegedly posted the video on social media and sparked an outcry from concerned citizens, who shared it and expressed their outrage, even sending messages to media calling for an investigation.

The incident even attracted the attention of President Trump.

"Is this even possible to believe?" Trump tweeted. "Can this be for real? Where is this nursing home, how is the victim doing?"

Attention by law enforcement followed.

Nursing home staff heard a commotion and found the victim bleeding with injuries to the left and right side of his head. The elderly man was taken to a hospital and treated for his injuries, which were non-threatening. The suspect was taken into custody at the nursing home. 

Initially, staff members thought the victim fell from his bed, but authorities became aware of the beating after being alerted to the videos on social media and learning that the victim's credit cards were stolen.

“The alleged actions of this defendant are truly and uniquely disturbing. We must be able to trust our loved ones in specialty care facilities,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a statement. “I truly hope that the facts of this case are one of a kind.”

The arrest prompted Crime Stoppers of Michigan to appeal to those who know of anyone committing elderly abuse to contact the group.

“If anyone has any information about anyone suffering from abuse on the elderly citizens, please submit a tip to Crime Stoppers. You will remain anonymous and if your tip leads to an arrest then you will be eligible to earn a cash reward,” said Shirley Schuler, Crime Stoppers of Michigan communications manager.

Hayden's family could not be reached. His father said this week that his son shouldn't have been in a nursing home.

"It should've never happened because he should've never been put in that environment," the father told FOX 2 Detroit. "I just don't want people to think that he's this vicious individual. He's got mental issues."