Licensed Home Health Aide Accused of Beating Elderly Veteran in Her Care

A woman hired to take care of an elderly paraplegic veteran is accused of beating him so severely he had to be hospitalized, police say.

Eighty-three-year-old Teddy Darden, who needs help with basic needs, said he was completely helpless when licensed health aide Areatha Pickens allegedly unleashed her wrath back in June.

“She walked over here and started beating the hell out of me,” he said. “I was just like this on the stretcher I couldn’t protect myself.

Darden, who was left a paraplegic from a car accident 40 years ago, says he’s never been beaten that badly before – not even in the Korean War.

“She’s like a machine gun,” Darden said. “I think she hit me about 20 times.”

Suffolk County police say Pickens attacked Darden because he called her employer to report that she was late for work. Darden said she was late often and Pickens threatened him not to say a word.

“She had convinced me if you do something you’re going to pay for it,” he said. “And I paid for it.”

Darden is now suing Pickens and her employer, Island Home Care Agency.

Darden's attorney, John Dalli, says the agency is the one that should pay. Dalli said the agency never checked up on Pickens.

“The department of health does come in and check nursing homes but there are no laws in place that require a home health care agency be checked or that the aides be checked on a random basis or at all,” Dalli said.

He said it’s a problem lawmakers must address to protect the elderly.

It wasn't clear if Pickens had an attorney who could comment on the allegations against her and News 4 reached out to Island Home Care Agency for comment but has not heard back.

Darden, who is restricted to a stretcher, was once afraid to speak up. Now, he hopes his story shows others not to be afraid to report abuse.

“Help other people. She hurt me and to help other people from getting a good whooping. “

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