Caregiver allegedly tries to smother elderly dementia patient with a pillow, claims he was ‘just messing around’

An Oregon man training to become a certified nursing assistant is accused of trying to smother an elderly dementia patient with a pillow.

KOIN reported that Henry Woolner, 21, worked at the Gracelen Terrace Long Term Care Facility in Portland. It was there where he abused a 67-year-old patient “who is not able to speak or articulate events,” a criminal affidavit alleged.

A  female employee supposedly witnessed the incident. They reportedly recalled seeing Woolner push down harder on the man’s face the louder he yelled.

“[Woolner] was pressing down on the pillow with both hands on the side of the pillow [and the] victim’s face was in the middle of the pillow,” court documents stated.

When the horrified co-worker screamed at Woolner to stop, investigators said he appeared oblivious and fluffed the pillow before placing it on the man’s chest, according to KPTV.

Woolner purportedly told the co-worker that he was “just messing around.” The co-worker described the man’s face as being “extremely red” as he gasped for air, court documents alleged.

A nurse who examined the man later that night said he sustained bruises to his forehead and lower neck.

Documents indicated that Woolner told officers that he was using the pillow as a barrier while he applied the patient’s dentures because the patient could be “aggressive,” KOIN also reported.

A grand jury recently charged the 21-year-old with felony strangulation, attempted 2nd-degree assault, and attempted criminal mistreatment. He pleaded not guilty to all charges on Friday.

[Featured Image: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office]