Nurses’ aide guilty of hitting patient with stick

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- A nurses’ aide in Castle Rock entered a guilty plea Friday morning after she was caught on video hitting an Alzheimer’s patient with a stick.

Tabatha Cooper, 31, was arrested after a FOX31 Denver viewer gave a copy of the video to investigative reporter Tak Landrock. Prosecutors said the video evidence helped get Cooper to take a plea deal.

Under the terms of the deal Cooper must serve 16 hours of community service, attend anger management classes and stay out of trouble for two years, otherwise she could go to jail.

The video was shot on June 22, 2014 and shows Cooper yelling at Dennis Johnson.

The man who shot the video wanted to remain anonymous but agreed to allow us to use his first name, John, for the story.

TAK LANDROCKJohn said he was walking his dog near Whitetail Drive when he heard a woman screaming. “At first, it sounded like someone was yelling at a child or at a dog,” John said.  As he got closer to Cooper he saw her with a stick in her hand. “She looked like she was going to strike him.”

John got out his iPhone and began recording the confrontation and 15 seconds into shooting the video Cooper can be seen hitting the man with a stick.

Moments after the assault, John intervenes and asked the woman, “Ma’am is there a problem?” Cooper responds, “Yes, this damn man is trying to assault me.”

According to John, he called 911 to report the assault. Castle Rock Police said they took action after FOX31 Denver turned the video over to detectives.

Johnson's family confirms Dennis, 67, suffers from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The assisted living center where Cooper worked fired her after she was arrested by police.

Cooper told the Judge that she was tired that day, but it doesn’t take away from her actions. She apologized to Johnson and his family.

The state has since revoked her nurses' aide license. Cooper said she no longer works and a caregiver.

The state of Colorado does allow you to look at nursing home inspections and investigations. You can follow the link to see any nursing home in the state.