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Pocatello man charged with elderly abuse following alleged attack in assisted living facility

Crime Watch

POCATELLO — A local man faces a felony charge for abusing a vulnerable adult after he allegedly attacked a 78-year-old man described “barely verbal.”

Geffrey Neil Parkin, 25, was fired as a nurse from Caring Hearts Assisted Living facility in Pocatello after management discovered video evidence of him physically assaulting one of the residents, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The footage was turned over to the Pocatello Police Department, and Parkin was arrested the following day.

A person with the victim’s power of attorney contacted Pocatello Police around 7:30 p.m. Friday. The person said the victim had developed “severe bruising” on both arms and was believed to have been assaulted.

Officers contacted the victim and witness at Caring Hearts, noting that the victim did have large dark bruises on both forearms. Police reports show that the bruising on the victim’s right arm covered the area from the wrist halfway to the elbow.

The victim, who is diagnosed with “severe Alzheimer’s,” was “barely verbal,” according to police reports, and was only able to respond to yes-or-no questions.

Due to him being registered as a fall risk, the room was outfitted with a Nest camera for monitoring.

The nurse responsible for the victim’s care immediately before Parkin’s shift told officers that the victim was in a good mood and was not bruised when she last left him, the affidavit says. The nurse who took over the victim’s care immediately after Parkin’s shift noticed the bruising and immediately reported it.

According to the affidavit, the footage shows Parkin making several attempts to force the man back into bed.

At one point, the victim attempts to leave the room. Parkin allegedly shoves the victim and can be heard saying, “Stop, or I’ll shove you” and “Do you want to get hurt?” At one point in the footage, Parkin is seen holding the man down, twisting his wrists, bending his fingers back and pushing a knee into the victim’s chest.

The victim tried to fight Parkin off and threw several punches. While police reports say that it is unclear if any of the victim’s punches landed, Parkin is described at one point as backing away from the victim and resting with his hands on his knees.

Officers contacted Parkin, who came to the police station the following day for an interview.

During the interview, Parkin allegedly admitted to assaulting the victim, saying that his previous employment at a psychiatric hospital included the use of physical restraints. After several requests for assistance with what he called an out-of-control patient, he reached his “boiling point” and used what he believed to be necessary force.

Parkin was arrested and transported to Bannock County Jail, where he is currently being held on a $10,000 bond for abuse of a vulnerable adult with great bodily harm. A no-contact order had been issued if he should post bond.

If found guilty, Parkin would face up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

He is scheduled to appear in court Monday for a preliminary hearing.

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