A nurse's assistant at a northwest suburban nursing home has been charged with aggravated battery for licking pain medication taken from the back of an incapacitated 92-year-old resident, police said.
Jeremiah J. Healless, 25, of the 300 block of North Eastman Street in Harvard is charged with one count of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony due to the age of the victim, according to a release from Crystal Lake police.
Healless, a certified nurse's assistant at Fair Oaks Health Care Center on the 470 block of West Terra Cotta Avenue in Crystal Lake, allegedly made contact with the resident of an "insulting nature" and gained possession of her medication for his personal use, the release said.
Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Eugene Lowery explained that Healless would enter the patient's room, roll her on her side, then poke holes in her fentanyl patch with a safety pin. He was able to do this because of the woman's mental and physical incapacities, and she didn't realize what he was doing.
Healless would allegedly squeeze the fentanyl patch so the drug, a narcotic painkiller given to people in constant pain, would emerge from the patch like a boil, and he'd remove the drug from the patch and lick it off his fingers.
The nursing home's staff began to suspect something was wrong when they noticed that the patch would become discolored, Lowery said.
After gaining the cooperation of the woman's family, a covert video surveillance camera was set up in her room, Lowery said.
Subsequently, Healless was caught on video taking the fentanyl from the resident, he said. Police were called on Friday and Healless was arrested, charged and taken to the McHenry County Jail.
Illinois, not Florida!