SAPD: Employee at nursing home slapped patient with Alzheimer’s, causing swelling and bruising

Marcelina Felipa Ruiz charged with injury to the elderly by facility caregiver, records show

Marcelina Felipa Ruiz was charged with injury to the elderly by facility caregiver, a second-degree felony, records show. (Bexar County Jail)

SAN ANTONIO – An employee at a Medical Center-area nursing home is accused of slapping a 84-year old woman with Alzheimer’s disease, causing her face to bruise and swell, according to San Antonio police.

Investigators said Marcelina Felipa Ruiz, a certified nursing assistant, struck the woman on Saturday at the Oak Park Nursing and Rehab Center located in the 7300 block of Oak Manor Drive.

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A witness told police that he heard screaming coming from the patient’s room, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. When he went to check on the situation, he saw Ruiz and the patient alone inside the room.

The patient, who suffers from an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease, was sitting on a chair while Ruiz attempted to change her shirt, the affidavit states.

Because of the woman’s condition, she reacted by grabbing Ruiz’s forearm. Ruiz noticed she had been scratched and then slapped the patient across the face, the affidavit states.

An incident report states that the witness notified management, and Ruiz was sent home.

Investigators said the force caused bruising and swelling to the patient’s left cheek. One officer noted the “swelling and redness was more pronounced when he arrived to the location.”

Jail records show Ruiz, 64, was arrested on Thursday and charged with injury to the elderly by facility caregiver, a second-degree felony.

A call to nursing home management went unanswered on Friday morning. We will update this story once we get comment from Oak Park.

A spokeswoman with SAPD said the case remains under investigation.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.