The senior retirement home had never borne witness to anything like this. The residents were startled when they heard the stomping boots of the patrol officers rushing up the stairs. The nursing home had always been peaceful, but that was about to change.
A group of staff and residents soon encircled the bottom of the stairs. They had no idea what was happening, but a nurse didn’t hesitate to start recording a video on her phone. Within the next few seconds, everyone heard screaming.
There had been a recent uproar in the media when this story came to light. Many questioned how our society treated the elderly. There was an outcry that there had been no compassion and the ordeal had been brutal. But others thought there was more to the story.
Here we share the story of a 93-year-old woman who came face-to-face with law enforcement. You can be the judge of whether or not their actions were justified.
The 93-year-old woman had spent the last ten years living in the Eustis, Florida, retirement home. Juanita Fitzergald was from Tennessee.
Many want to spend their autumn years continuing to live an independent life; for some, senior retirement communities are the best way to do that. However, there are still those who are in need of assisted living. But every good side has its bad.
They Had Come For Her
This environment has the occasional conflict, which is what happened in this usually peaceful nursing home. The Lake County Police Department had come for Juanita Fitzgerald because of the trouble she’d caused.
A handful of people from the retirement community knew what was happening. After the explanations had been made public, people wondered if what had been done was justified or if there had been a power play.
The residents and staff understood that Juanita was a woman who enjoyed time alone. She hadn’t seen her family since she’d been there, so it was clear that she didn’t have a great relationship with them.
She seldom called any of the other seniors her friend. But the story was different regarding her relationship with the staff members.
She was polite to the nursing home staff but wouldn’t hesitate to throw tantrums when things didn’t go her way. She could sometimes say rude things.
Her episodes would run for a few hours, but the staff had grown used to them. They knew what to expect and were still kind to her. They never encountered something they couldn’t handle, but that soon changed.
Juanita suddenly started complaining more than usual. She had started commenting on how the retirement home was run and said she wasn’t happy with it.
The staff hadn’t expected Juanit’s change in mood and wondered what the cause was. They had grown used to her fits that lasted for hours but were unsure how to handle the ones that stayed for weeks. She had been complaining about one thing in particular.
Her Living Conditions
She complained that she couldn’t live in a place with mold on the walls. Juanita would go on a tangent every time a nurse stepped into the room. She would tell them her life was hell having to live in a moldy room.
A team of professionals inspected her room, but they found no signs of mold in her room. But things worsened when they shared their findings with Juanita.
Two Sides To The Story
The professional’s report did nothing to satisfy her. From here, the story starts to differ between the retirement staff members and Juanita.
The staff said that Juanita had decided not to pay rent, but she had a reason. The staff couldn’t believe it when they heard it.
Refusing To Pay Rent
Juanita informed them that she was at an age where she could pass away at any moment. Due to her limited time left on earth, she would stop paying rent.
But Juanita had a different version of the story. She claimed she got an eviction notice from the manager without justified reasoning. She was trying to pay rent, but the manager took the money. But the disagreement would have an appalling end.
A police vehicle stopped outside the senior’s home, and the residents were shocked to see police officers walk inside. More shocked faces watched as they began climbing the stairs.
The screaming and shouting soon followed. The yelling grew louder as the officers carried Juanita down the stairs. “Let go of me!” she shouted. They managed to get her into the car before driving her to the station.
At The Station
It wasn’t long before the 93-year-old was seen in photos looking distressed, in handcuffs, and sitting at the police station. She begged the officers the let her go.
The reports state that the caretakers had evicted her, so the officers had come to convince her to pack her things and leave the building. She had fought, and the officers were forced to escort her out of the retirement home.
Sitting In Jail
Juanita spent a few days in jail after the incident because she no longer had a place to stay. Many who discovered in the media what had happened to the elderly woman were upset. How could law enforcement do such a thing?
But were the reports telling the whole story? There was more to the case than anyone could have anticipated.
When she refused to pay rent, the retirement offered to find Juanita another accommodation. That was before they called the police. She made a fuss and said she didn’t want to move.
Jaunita lived in a Hotel in Tavares after being released from jail. But she was struggling to support herself and didn’t want to accept help from strangers.
Juanita claimed that she missed one thing she had left behind at the retirement community, which was her Bible. “I’m doing this on behalf of God, not for myself. I could likely get a few clothes,” she said.
Social media soon spread the body cam footage of the police arresting Juanita, and the public was unhappy. Reddit and Facebook were riddled with heated arguments about what had happened.