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New Hope Nursing Home Abuse Caught On Camera

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A Twin Cities nursing home has fired two employees it says were caught on camera abusing patients.

Concerned family members set up hidden cameras after noticing bruises and cuts on their loved ones.

Investigators say the video shows two employees abusing at least two residents on June 22.

When administrators at Saint Therese learned of the allegations of abuse, they immediately called New Hope police and the state health department.

After interviewing several people and reviewing the video tape, two nursing assistants were arrested, booked and released.

The two former employees, Arthur Smith Wesseh and Watta Yamor Kamara, from St. Therese New Hope have not been formally charged with a crime.

"It seems to be very isolated incident," said a family member of one resident. "We've accessed this facility twice before this time and have gotten excellent care. The staff is highly trained. They've been professional, and they've been very kind."

A woman who did not want to be identified said St. Therese is doing everything to make sure current residents are well taken care of.

In a statement St. Therese said: "We are cooperating fully with authorities. We have taken numerous steps to prevent a recurrence, including implementation of a plan of correction."

The woman we spoke with said she and others who use the facility are furious.

"Those people need to be held accountable for their behavior, and anybody who was aware of anything not proper within the boundaries of what is decency also need to be held accountable for not standing up for what's right the first time," she said.

Investigators with New Hope police who looked at the video believe the former nursing assistants should be charged with mistreatment of residents.

New Hope's city attorney says he is waiting on Department of Health investigators to finish their look into the matter before filing charges.

The two residents who were allegedly abused still live at the facility.

St. Therese also says it fired eight additional employees for either not reporting the alleged abuse or using their cell phone in a patient's room, which is against policy at the facility.

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