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Nurse's Aide Accused Of Beating Patient At NJ Nursing Home

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Police are investigating an attack on an elderly nursing home resident in New Jersey in the last hours of her life – and a surveillance camera captured the abuse.

The attack is hard to watch and impossible to understand, reports CBS 2's Josh Landis.

Modesto Alvarado, 87, lied helplessly in bed as a nurse's aide, Julia Galvan, allegedly beat her repeatedly. The footage was so violent that it disturbed even the most seasoned police officers.

"You could see the defendant, Julia Galvan, standing over her," North Bergen Police Lt. Frank Cannella said. "[She] strikes her on the top of the head once…turns her body around, turns back as if she forgot something, strikes her again on the top of the head."

Alvarado, who had been terminally ill, died a day after the assault on January 15.

"I've been here for 29 years, I've seen quite a bit – it was difficult for me to watch," Lt. Cannella said.

Galvan, 59, was arrested and charged with assault, abandonment and neglect of the elderly. She was also fired from the Harborage Nursing Home in North Bergen where it all happened.

The alleged attack might have gone unreported if it hadn't been for Alvarado's daughter. She was suspicious about her mother's mood and appearance, and decided to install a secret "nanny cam," which is what eventually captured the alleged assault on tape and led to Galvan's arrest.

According to investigators, Galvan said she was stressed out because of a death in the family and was suffering from depression. Authorities say Alvarado's death does not appear to be related to the assault, but that Galvan could still face more serious charges from Hudson County prosecutors.

The Harborage issued a statement Friday afternoon, saying the company has a zero tolerance policy for improper treatment of their residents, and that the employee in question has been terminated.

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