A home health nurse from Shreveport has been arrested on charges of second degree cruelty to a juvenile after she allegedly allowed a cerebral palsy patient to be scalded in the shower.
Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said the victim's mother filed a complaint against 32-year-old Shannon N. Roberts of the 11900 block of Providence Road on January 11.
"The 15-year-old juvenile receives services from a home health agency out of Shreveport," Cropper said. "On this particular day, the nurse, who was working an eight-hour shift, placed the young man in a special mesh covered chair that goes in the shower and hung the moveable shower head over him."
Cropper said the mother, who was at home but outside at the time, entered the house and heard her son screaming and reportedly beating his fist against the shower wall.
"She entered the bathroom and asked her son what was wrong because normally, he enjoys a bath," said the chief. "The young man has a hard time communicating, so the mother allowed the nurse to complete his bath and dress him in his brace and clothes."
Reportedly, the mother said her son continued to "whine" a lot throughout the day and appeared to be perspiring more than normal.
After the nurse left for the day, the son reportedly continued to act as if he were uncomfortable. When the mother removed the brace, Cropper said she discovered burns on the son's back.
"She could see the mesh print from the shower chair burned into his skin," Cropper said. "She took him to the hospital and was told he had first- and second-degree burns on his back. He was treated and released."
Cropper said the mother brought photographs to the Minden Police Department and detectives obtained a warrant for Roberts' arrest.
"Roberts was contacted by phone, and on February 1, she came to the police department with her attorney and turned herself in," Cropper said. "She indicated she had been nursing for a long time and she said she tested the water temperature with her hand. She said she had no idea the water was burning him.
"In a case like this, you don't have to necessarily prove criminal intent," he continued. "It's negligence, and that's the reason we felt like we had to arrest her."
Roberts was booked at the Minden Police Department and transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center where she was housed under a $35,000 bond. Roberts has reportedly posted bond.