Nursing Assistant Accused of Assaulting Psychiatric Patient in Leeds, MA

An Ashfield, MA nursing assistant has been charged with assault and battery on a person over 60 or disabled. Garrett C. Crehan, 42, allegedly forced a 61-year-old patient at the Veterans Affairs Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System psychiatric ward in Leeds onto the ground, causing his nose to bleed. He also is accused of holding him down in a bed by pinning and twisting the patient’s arms behind his back, kneeing him in the ribs multiple times, and threatening to kill him.

The alleged patient assault is said to have occurred in January. The following month, three members of the hospital’s nursing staff said they’d witnessed the incident and considered Crehan’s actions patient abuse. Court documents, however, indicate that when a police officer arrived on the scene right after the actual incident, none of the staff members mentioned that an assault had taken place.

The patient, who agreed to write a statement about the alleged incident, said that a staff member twisted his arm and called him a derogatory word for a disabled person. He said that the incident has affected him.

One of the nursing assistants that witnessed what happened said that after the alleged assault the patient refused to come out of the room because he was so afraid. Another nurse said that Crehan threatened to kill her if she told anyone about what happened but then claimed he was joking. She said she feared for her life.

According to hospital staff, Crehan was trained in correct restraint protocol. The rules of VA Medical Center stipulate that staff members must immediately report any suspected incidents of abuse. Going “hands-on” with a patient is only allowed when there is “imminent risk” that the patient might inflict harm to him/herself or others.

Crehan also has been charged with an unrelated assault, this one allegedly involving suffocation, strangulation, and assault and battery of a woman with whom he’d been residing.


Massachusetts Nursing Abuse

Massachusetts nursing abuse can happen at assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, psychiatric wards, long-term care facilities, and in private homes where a nurse has been hired. Victims of this type of wrongdoing may be entitled to Boston personal injury compensation. Facility owners can also be held liable. They are responsible for properly screening all staffers, ensuring they are correctly trained, and protecting residents and patients from harm. This includes taking steps to prevent sexual and violent crimes.

Depending on the specifics of what happened and where the abuse took place, there may even be reason for a Massachusetts medical malpractice claim. Nursing abuse can also be emotional and psychological.

At Altman & Altman, LLP, our Boston nursing negligence lawyers are here to represent residents and their families in recovering the Massachusetts injury compensation that they are owed. If you suspect that someone you love is the victim of abuse or neglect contact us today.

Garrett Crehan of Ashfield charged with assaulting psychiatric patient at Veterans Affairs medical center in Leeds,, April 16, 2015

 VA nurse charged with assaulting veteran at Northamptom facility, MassLive, April 17, 2015

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