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Man Accused of Causing 92-Year-Old Mother's Skin To Tear

She described it as a "painful injury," but said she could not remember how it happened.

Forsyth County authorities arrested a man accused of causing a large skin tear on the arm of his 92-year-old mother following a disagreement about the woman's dog.

Deputies responded Jan. 22 to Northside Hospital-Forsyth's Emergency Department where the woman was being treated for what she described as a "painful injury," but said she could not remember how it happened, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office incident report.

The woman, who has dementia characterized by short term memory loss, lives in the Oaks at Post Road Nursing and Assisted Living Facility with a Shih Tzu named "Pod."

A nursing assistant notified the woman's son, William Harrison Huff, 66, of Ridgemoore Pass in Canton, that another member of the staff had lodged a complaint about the dog whining and suspected the woman may have been abusing the animal. 

Huff about 12:30 a.m. "responded unexpectedly to the facility 'with an attitude,' behaving in a peevish and aggressive manner," according to the police report. He counted medication given for the dog following an earlier veterinary procedure and found the woman had overdosed the dog.

The woman protested when Huff said "he was going to take the dog away as he was tired of it causing problems," the nursing assistant told police, according to the report. "Huff 'got in her face,' told her that he would be taking care of things and pushed her up against the wall in the bathroom area." 

The woman fell on her bottom and pulled Huff down on top of her, the witness said. "He stood up and told her, 'Look what you made me do,' and then reached down and, with a violent jerking motion, pulled her by the right arm and to her feet, causing the injury to her arm," the report says.

Huff allegedly told police "his mother had started towards him suddenly and he stretched his hands out to prevent her from injuring herself, at which point she slipped on a rug in the bathroom, falling backwards into the shower area, pulling him down with her," according to the report. He tried to help the woman get up by pulling on her arm, but the skin "sloughed off exposing her arm under the skin," he told a deputy, the report says.

The nursing assistant added that she advised Huff to seek medical attention for the woman's injury, and he asked if he should do so that night. "When he was told that he should, (he) reluctantly set out with her to the Emergency Department," according to the report.

After she was injured, the woman said, "Look at what that (expletive) did to me. Why did you call him? He hates dogs and he hates me," according to the nursing assistant.

Huff was arrested at the emergency room and jailed on charges of battery of a person over the age of 65 and willful infliction of pain and injury on an elder person.

The elderly woman was taken via ambulance back to the facility. What happened to the dog is unclear. 

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Gayle January 25, 2014 at 05:56 AM
I feel for Mr. Huff. It is extremely hard caring for an elderly parent, then put in dementia....sounds like he was the only person who cared for the mother. Now with the arrest, he wont be allowed near her. In the meantime, the mother is abusing her dog. Also, as we get older, our skin thins and it will tear very easily. Very sad situation, no one offering to help Mr. Huff with his mother, just always ready to blame.
Elizabeth Elizabeth January 25, 2014 at 08:29 AM
This is battery and he needs to be charged. The dog is not causing problems to anyone and is also a victim. A humane group in the area needs to step in for the dog and assist this woman and then help to place this dog when the time comes. Animals can really help with the quality of life for an older person but should not be regarded for their service as a throwaway. This is terrible all the way around. Please report in a follow up what has happened to this poor woman's dog.

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