Nurse's Aide Arrested For Placing Pillow Over Patient's Face At Brooklyn Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the arrest of a Bay Ridge nurse's aide for putting a pillow over the face of an 88-year-old female patient suffering from dementia. The incident occurred in January.

Bernadette Arnesen, a nurse's aide formerly employed at Holy Family Home on 84th Street, will be arraigned today in Brooklyn Criminal Court on a 3-count Misdemeanor Complaint, charging her with Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person, and Wilful Violation of Health Laws. If convicted, she faces up to one year in prison.

"When families entrust the care of their frail, elderly loved ones to health care professionals, they do not expect them to live in fear for their safety," said Spitzer. "Sadly, this case is just one more example of the type of abuse that continues to occur in our state's nursing homes. My office is committed to vigorously prosecuting those who abuse the patients in their care."

Spitzer thanked the State Health Department for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked the staff and administration of the facility for their assistance and cooperation during the investigation.

Holy Family Home is located at 1740 84th Street in Brooklyn. Arnesen, 55, of 16th Avenue in Brooklyn, worked at the facility from April 1989 until her termination shortly after the incident.

Special Assistant Attorney General Glenn Jones, of the New York City Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, is prosecuting the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

The charges against Arnesen are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.