SNF employee charged with assault after spraying resident with hand sanitizer

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A former employee of a Pennsylvania nursing home is facing assault and neglect charges after he allegedly repeatedly sprayed a resident with hand sanitizer.

Robert Morris Seifert, 28, allegedly sprayed an entire bottle of Germ-X hand sanitizer onto the resident, who has Alzheimer's and is bound to a wheelchair, at Meadow View Nursing Center in Berlin, PA, on April 2. Seifert then retrieved another bottle from a supply closet and continued soaking the resident, The Tribune-Democrat reported.

The resident also injured his hand during the incident when he flailed, hit a counter and “got a tack lodged deep into his right wrist,” authorities said. Nursing staff told police that the resident could have been even more seriously injured had the sanitizer gotten into his mouth, nose or eyes.

Facility security cameras reportedly caught Seifert laughing after the hand sanitizer incident, which he told authorities he instigated because he occasionally enjoyed agitating the victim.

Meadow View administrator Jennifer Gjurich told McKnight's that she wasn't at liberty to discuss the case since it an ongoing investigation, but noted that “the facility did follow all state and federal regulations, as well as abuse policies in terms of reporting and investigation.”

Seifert is no longer employed at Meadow View, Gjurich said.

In addition to simple assault and neglect of a care-dependent person, Seifert also faces charges of disorderly conduct and harassment. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 25.