Thursday, July 18, 2024

6 injured, malnourished adults removed from illegal Norfolk boarding home, police say

Six injured and malnourished adults were removed from this Hollywood Homes house in May. Now police are investigating to determine if the care and conditions the adults were living in contributed to neglect. (Adrienne Mayfield/Southside Daily)

NORFOLK — From the outside, the Hudson Avenue house looks like any other on the block. A two-story house with black trim, it sits inconspicuously in the Hollywood Homes neighborhood surrounded by a neatly trimmed lawn and shaded by tall trees overhead.

Yet, inside the home was something far less pristine when Norfolk Adult Protective Services visited in May.

On May 18, six malnourished and injured people were removed from the house and taken to the hospital, according to documents filed in Norfolk Circuit Court.

Neighbors say a couple lives inside the home with the adults, and police say they were running an illegal boarding house without a permit.

Now, police are investigating whether abuse and neglect caused the people’s injuries.

The investigation began after APS told police that there were several incapacitated adults living in the home. When they were removed, authorities discovered that they were injured and malnourished, according to documents filed in Norfolk Circuit Court.

One 65-year-old man was taken to Sentara Leigh Hospital because he was emaciated and had several lacerations, scrapes and bed sores on his skin. Police believed his foot was broken, but instead of being medically treated, it was wrapped in masking tape, court documents show.

On May 28, a Norfolk Police Department officer visited the man in the hospital. The officer reported that the man was very thin, and though he was “almost non-verbal,” he repeatedly asked the nurse for food. The officer also noticed that the man’s wounds were bleeding through his clothing and bandages, according to court documents.

In a July 26 search warrant, police sought permission to get the man’s medical records to determine the extent of his injuries. They obtained 46 pages of records from Sentara Leigh Memorial Hospital.

“The injuries and his condition at admittance will further this investigation of adult neglect and abuse,” an officer wrote in the warrant.

A neighbor, 82-year-old Earnest Sawyer, said the house is “run” by a man and a woman who have been living there for a few years. Sawyer said he was aware of several adults living in the house, and believes that the tenants were homeless, mentally ill or hard on their luck.

He also said that he’s seen police and ambulances come to the house several times. He’s never seen anyone get arrested at the residence.

A woman who answered the door of the home on Aug. 10 declined to speak with Southside Daily.

Norfolk Police Department spokesman Daniel Hudson said the six adults who were removed are expected to survive. No one has been arrested in connection with this incident, but it is under investigation.

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