Florida medical worker charged with tearing disabled patient’s hair
A medical provider accused of tearing out a disabled patient’s hair during a struggle has been arrested in Florida.
According to a press release, Makala Malcolm dragged a disabled adult by the hair, ripping off several pigtails. She is charged with one count of abuse of an elderly or disabled adult, a third degree felony. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
In a written statement, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This is appalling. Caregivers are supposed to care for their patients, not pull their hair out. Fortunately, my investigators from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and local law enforcement arrested this suspect before more harm could be done.
Investigators said the patient was left with “baldness with redness and blood on [their] scalp.”
The investigation was led by Attorney General Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Enforcement Unit and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in Tallahassee. The incident happened at the Tallahassee location of Sunrise, a private developmental care chain, on Observation Circle, just south of Buck Lake Road, according to The Tallahassee Democrat.
Sunrise is an “intermediate care facility for people with developmental disabilities” that provides 24/5 care to its clients, an affidavit of arrest reads. The week before the incident, Malcolm returned from suspension “from another situation with an individual,” an affidavit said, according to The Democrat.
ABC 15 News reported that the confrontation took place about a month ago, but Malcolm, 24, was apprehended and booked on Tuesday.
The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Enforcement Unit through a mutual agreement with State’s Attorney Jack Campbell’s office in the Second Judicial Circuit.
The reports did not mention Sunrise’s response to Malcom’s arrest, the reason for his previous suspension or his work history.