Local News

Woman accused of abusing elderly man

LAKE PLACID - A Lake Placid woman was arrested after a man told authorities that she kept him as a virtual prisoner in her home, apparently to get his Social Security and pension money and use it to buy crack, according to an arrest report released Monday. In a separate matter, a tenant of the woman arrested said the woman attacked her because of the way she cleaned the bathroom in the house, according to a report. Michelle Denise Weston, 45, 108 Anderson St., Lake Placid, was arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff's Office June 23 and charged in connection with both incidents with aggravated battery on a person 65 years old or older, felony battery, resisting an officer without violence, false imprisonment, abuse of an elderly person and exploitation of an elderly person. Initially, deputies were investigating a battery that involved a report by the woman accusing Weston of attacking her. The woman, who rented a room from Weston, told deputies that Weston got mad at her when she didn't "clean the bathroom to her standards," and that Weston caused her to fall and then placed her hands around her throat, the report said.
Deputies observed that the woman's "right eye socket was swollen to the point of being nearly shut," the report said. Weston told authorities that she "became angry with the victim for using the same cleaning cloth to wipe the floor and then the toilet seat," the report said. She also said the victim attacked her, but she had no visible injuries, the report said. In the other incident, the man who appeared to have several bruises, said Weston "would not let him get dressed and kept him in his underwear so he could not leave the house," the report said. "The victim stated he was afraid of the defendant and wanted to get away from her." He also said she makes him sleep on the floor next to her bed. The elderly man, who told authorities that he gave Weston power of attorney over him to help care for him, told deputies that periodically she would take him to the bank to withdraw the $2,000 he received from his pension and Social Security on a monthly basis and that Weston would take all the money and give him $100, the report said. "When asked what she does with the rest of the money, he does not know," the report said. "He did say she does buy crack cocaine and smokes it three or four times a week." The man he tried to escape, but Weston caught him and pushed him away from the door, the report said. "She took her fingers with acrylic nails, into both sides of his mouth. She cut the inside of his mouth on both of the inside cheeks.. When she got him onto the ground, she tried to push his eyeballs out of the sockets." When the victim tried to protect himself with his arm, Weston beat his arm with a belt, the report said. The man told authorities that one day when Weston was high on crack, she "hit him with a closed fist on the left side of his temple. Since that time, the victim cannot see out of his left eye after that incident." Another tenant said she saw Weston throw the man on the floor, jump on top of him, and put a chokehold on him to the point where he couldn't breathe, the report said. Weston told the other tenant, "this motherf----- is going to learn a lesson," the report said. Weston denied the allegations, the report said. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834