Caregiver accused of cuffing, shackling mentally disabled patient

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

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TUCKER, Ga. - Gwinnett County police have arrested a caregiver who they said shackled one of her residents to a table and cuffed her hands.

Investigators said an exterminator was servicing units at the Lakeview Apartments when the worker walked into a unit and found a woman on the ground, shackled to furniture.

"I saw her sitting there in the sun room area on the floor, and she had a cuff around her ankle and she had the longer chain, and it wasn't a regular set of handcuffs. It had the chain on it, and the chain was connected to the table leg," the exterminator said on the 911 call.

"And her hands were handcuffed in front of her," Sgt. Randy Work with the Gwinnett County Police Department said.

Police said the victim is a 65-year-old mentally incapacitated woman.

They said her caregiver, Michelle Hall, 51, claimed she had an order to restrain the woman and that it was for her own good.

"She said that woman would do things like eat paper and dig in her diaper and things of that nature," Work said.

Police said no such order existed.

Police arrested Hall Wednesday for elder abuse and false imprisonment. She later bonded out of jail.

Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh got no response at the Tucker apartment on Thursday, though she did see people congregating on the deck when the Channel 2 Action News crew first arrived.

Channel 2 Action News has learned this was not Hall's first arrest. DeKalb County police confirm they arrested her three weeks ago, as well.

In DeKalb County, she was accused of running an unlicensed personal care home -- a misdemeanor as a first offense. DeKalb County police were working to provide an exact address of that personal care home.

"You just don't know how many homes these people are running. It just depends where the evidence takes us, and we'll just go where it goes," Work said.

Police said the woman was turned over to the state's Adult Protective Services. She is now recovering at a hospital.

Police have not been able to locate any family members of the woman.



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