Man Seen Pummeling Elderly Resident in Viral Video Identified, Charged

May 25, 2020 Updated: May 25, 2020

A man seen brutally assaulting an elderly nursing home resident in a viral video from Michigan was identified and charged with assault and larceny.

The man was identified by prosecutors as Jaden Hayden, 20. Hayden was arrested late last week after video footage of the assault circulated widely, prompting police officers to act.

Hayden, of Ypsilanti, was sharing a room with 75-year-old Norman Bledsoe at Westwood Nursing Center. On May 10 just before 7 p.m., Hayden set up his cell phone to record video, according to Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy.

“It is alleged that Hayden severely attacked the defenseless man by repeatedly punching him in the head,” the prosecutor said.

Prosecutors said staff members heard the commotion and rushed to render assistance to the victim, who was bleeding from injuries to both sides of his head. Based on information Hayden gave to staffers, they were led to believe Bledsoe fell from his bed.

The elderly man was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Hayden then allegedly posted videos on social media, including one showing the beating, and stole Bledsoe’s credit cards.

After the video of the assault began circulating widely online, police officers arrested Hayden on May 21.

Hayden was charged with two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, larceny in a building, and two counts of financial transaction device-steal/retain without consent.

westwood nursing center
Westwood Nursing Center in Detroit, Mich. (Google Maps)

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

Hayden was arraigned on Sunday.

The 20-year-old was moved to the nursing center after testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, his father told reporters.

The suspect wasn’t sleeping, was hearing voices, and had anxiety issues, his dad said.

At least one other video on a YouTube channel that appeared to belong to Hayden showed an assault on another person.

The Detroit Police Department didn’t respond to inquiries on whether officers are probing that possible assault.

In a statement sent to news outlets last week, Midwest Legal Partners, the law firm representing the center, said it was cooperating with police.

“The safety, health, and well-being of our residents remains a top priority of Westwood. We will continue to monitor the situation,” the statement said.

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