Police: Video shows Bluff City woman beating Alzheimer's patient

Rain Smith • Aug 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

A Bluff City woman has been arrested after police were supplied video footage of her allegedly beating her husband, a 65-year-old sufferer of Alzheimer’s.

According to court records, the suspect initially wanted documentation of a “mess” the victim had made, and is then filmed attacking the man as he stands naked in a bathroom.

Jacquelyn Dawn Black, 62, of 480 Shawnee Drive, Apartment A, is charged with willful abuse, neglect and domestic assault.

An affidavit filed in Sullivan County General Sessions Court states the incident occurred July 25. On Monday, a family member supplied video of the alleged attack to a counselor, who then passed it along to the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

SCSO Detective Karen Watkins’ affidavit says the victim has Alzheimer’s disease, along with multiple other mental health and physical issues. Black reportedly wanted video after her husband defecated on himself, telling the camera operator, “They could show the VA (Veterans Administration).”

The footage, filmed by the same person who later provided it to a counselor, allegedly shows Black becoming enraged with her husband. Court records say that as he stands naked in a bathroom, Black proceeds to “slap and beat him ... yells at him over and over and threatens to choke him.”

Black was arrested Monday, the same day investigators were alerted to the video, and booked into the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville. She has since been released on a $10,000 bond.

Adult Protective Services was contacted about the incident, with Black’s husband placed into a health care facility.

SCSO Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart says elder abuse is a crime that often goes unreported to police.

"Many times a family member is the abuser, so either the victim is not capable of reporting the abuse themselves or they are afraid to," said Earhart. "In some cases the victim may be afraid of being left alone or having to leave their home if they report the abuse."

Earhart also commended the family member who brought the incident to the attention of authorities, allowing the victim to be placed in a safe environment.

"We want residents to know that there are resources available to help adults that cannot care for themselves," said Earhart. "Adult Protective Services has a variety of programs aimed at helping disabled adults who cannot care for themselves."

To report elder abuse, call 1-888-APS-TENN. Tips can remain anonymous.

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