SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An elderly woman with dementia is spending her sixth night in jail after she allegedly attacked another patient at her senior care facility.
However, civil rights attorney Jeff Kravitz says the care facility in charge failed both the suspect and the victim. He believes police were only doing their job, but the care facility paid to watch 77-year-old Martha Glover is the reason why the grandmother is in jail and not in a hospital where her family says she belongs.
“I don’t think the police ultimately had much choice about making the initial arrest,” said Kravitz.
Glover continues to sit in jail. She is charged with assault with a deadly weapon: a comb.
“The fact she has dementia could not legally be a prohibition on making an arrest. Indeed the police have the right to detain people who have serious psychological problems if they are a danger to themselves or others,” said Kravitz.
Glover was arrested at Solano Life House, a care facility for dementia patients, where she was being treated.
Dixon police say Glover stabbed another elderly patient in the face and head with a coming with a pointed end, sending her to the hospital. That’s where Glover’s family thought she would also end up, not hauled away in handcuffs by police.
“They have that option to do that. In this case, it’s more than a situation of a person is a danger to themselves or others, she had assaulted someone,” said Kravitz.
The family says police were aware of Glover’s violent outbursts because they say they had been to the facility before. They trusted her caretakers to deal with the outbursts.
“She doesn’t drive. She doesn’t take care of any of her own affairs. She can’t hold a lucid conversation,” said daughter Lenore Dangerfield.
Kravitz says it’s not the police but her caretakers who failed.
“They knew of the condition of the attacker — for lack of a better word. They have a duty and responsibility to protect her, even against her own actions,” he said.
Kravitz says both families, Glover’s and the victim’s, have a legal claim to make against the facility because their trust to protect their loved ones was broken.
The question now is if the proper procedures were in place.
“We put our mother here because we believed you have the ability to make sure that she does not harm others, and you failed to do this,” said Kravitz.
CBS13 reached out to Solano Life House, but have not yet received a response.
Kravitz thinks the criminal case against Glover is weak because of her dementia; but it’s ultimately up to the district attorney to continue with the charges.