(TRENTON, Ga.) – A charge of Cruelty to Person 65 Years of Age or Older has been brought against 55-year-old Kent Allen Womack of Lafayette, owner of Woodhaven Senior Living in Trenton.
Dade County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Woodhaven Monday on reports that a one hour eviction notice was given to the residents who range in age from 61 to 97.
Upon arriving, deputies discovered no air conditioner with outside temps in the high 90’s.
“I went in with my detective, Chad Payne. Once you first walk in the door, you can tell there was no air at all. It was so hot in there. We checked the temperature in one of the air units in there and it registered over one hundred degrees,” said Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross.
The reason for the sudden eviction is under investigation. Womack was arrested Monday night and today officials say even more charges are expected to roll in.
Sheriff Cross questioned Womack about the a/c units and made some other discoveries.
“When I arrived on the scene, there was an odor of an alcohol beverage coming from him and I asked him if he’s been drinking, and he said I didn’t drive here and I said well have you been drinking and he said a couple hours ago. We did find two bottles of alcohol in his pocket,” Cross said.
With reports of elderly residents suffering from signs of heat stroke and nine individuals being taken to the hospital, the sheriff said it’s a wonder there weren’t any fatalities.
“This infuriates me,” he said. “These are elderly people that can’t fend for themselves and when somebody mistreats them and there’s probably going to be more things that are involved as far as financial problems, everyone should be upset about this.”
Womack is being held at the Dade County Jail and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been brought in to help.
Sheriff Cross urges anyone that suspects abuse of the elderly at nursing homes in his county to contact his office directly.