3 face charges over false report at Balfour at Cherrywood Village
Three workers at a senior living facility in Louisville are facing criminal charges after police allege two of them falsely reported an assault that never occurred between two elderly residents.
Joshua Merrill, a staff member at Balfour at Cherrywood Village, and Kara Roberts, a contractor, face charges of attempt to influence a public servant — a felony — as well as caretaker neglect and two counts of false reporting, court records show.
Dainzu Mosqueda, another employee, was charged with one count related to the mandatory reporting of mistreatment of at-risk elders.
Merrill, who was arrested this week and posted $5,000 bond, is set to appear in Boulder County District Court on March 28 for advisement of charges. Roberts has an active warrant out for her arrest, and Mosqueda was issued a summons.
Louisville police responded to the Balfour senior living facility Jan. 10 on reports of a domestic violence incident.
Officers, in arrest affidavits, said the three staff members told them that, on two separate occasions, an unnamed older resident struck his wife while visiting her at her residence. These incidents occurred, they said, after the wife took a long time to stand up, prompting the husband to strike her with an open hand, asking “are you stupid?,” the officer wrote.
Shortly after, Merrill told police that he saw the man slap his wife across the back after she was not moving fast enough to keep up with her husband.
The wife, who lives in a memory care unit, told police she couldn’t remember her husband’s name and didn’t recall being hit by anyone. Officers didn’t see any marks, bruises or swelling on her head, according to the affidavits.
Still, the accounts from the three staffers were enough for police to transport the man in his wheelchair — along with his walker and medications — to a police cruiser, where he was taken to the Boulder County Jail.
Two weeks after the incident, however, police returned to Balfour with a search warrant to review surveillance footage.
Mosqueda and the officer moved into her office, where she allegedly told him that she had reviewed the footage and there was no assault, according to the arrest affidavit.
The staffer said she had watched the video on Jan. 11, a day after the incident, and 13 days before police returned to collect the footage.
The officer asked why she hadn’t called police to inform them of what she saw. Mosqueda, according to the arrest affidavit, said she was “informed by her VP of operations to not call and inform the police department” since authorities were seeking a search warrant.
The video showed none of what the Balfour employees had told police. There was no evidence of the man smacking his wife or that he shoved her in the hallway, the court documents showed.
Neither the Louisville Police Department nor Boulder County District Attorney’s Office would comment on the investigation. The arrest affidavits don’t offer an explanation as to why the false allegation may have been made, although staffers told investigators that Merrill can be “overprotective of residents.”
Mosqueda, Merrill and Roberts did not respond to requests for comment. Balfour representatives did not return calls or messages.
The incident in Louisville marks the second time in a year that Balfour’s care practices have been called into question.
A 97-year-old woman froze to death in February 2022 after being locked out of the Balfour at Lavender Farms senior living facility, also in Louisville, in 15-degree weather.
Mary Jo Staub’s family in January filed a lawsuit, accusing Balfour, the company’s chief executive officer and two employees on duty that night of negligence, fraud, felonious killing and causing emotional distress to relatives. No criminal charges were filed.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which regulates nursing homes, fined the company $1,500.
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