The 20-year-old man who filmed himself punching an elderly Army veteran in a Detroit nursing home was moved to the nursing home after he was diagnosed with Covid-19, his father says.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Ok'd the transfer of Covid-19 patients to nursing homes where the most vulnerable elderly population is housed.
"He never should have been housed -- quarantine with the victim that he eventually assaulted. That should have never happened," said the suspect's father who asked not to be identified. He said his son has a history of mental health issues.
He is talking about this video.
NEW: Police have arrested a man for allegedly beating an elderly man in a nursing home in Detroit, Michigan, after videos of the incident surfaced online.
— Ben Suliman (@mgotoo16) May 22, 2020
Police were unaware of the assault until after the video went viral on social media. The suspect was identified by social media users, but his name has not been released by police.
The suspect is also under investigation for beating a staffer at a group home where he was sent after being diagnosed with Covid-19 at the University of Michigan Hospital.
The attack, which was filmed by the suspect, happened on May 15 at the Westwood Nursing Home in northwest Detroit, police confirmed.
The suspect was arrested Thursday and is being held without bond on assault and battery charges.
The 75-year-old patient is being treated for his injuries at a local hospital. The man's family said they had no idea their father was taken from his apartment and placed in a nursing home in northwest Detroit. They said they tried calling him at his apartment but he didn't answer.
The viral video caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who tweeted late Thursday: "Is this even possible to believe? Can this be for real? Where is this nursing home, how is the victim doing?"
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was heavily criticized for sending Covid-19 patients to nursing homes in that state. Thousands of nursing home patients died from the coronavirus in NY before Cuomo reversed his decision.
80% of all Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. are nursing home patients and people over age 65.