Registered Nurse Convicted After Videotape Captures Abuse of Autistic Patient

According to NBC 7 News, a registered nurse in San Diego was convicted on April 22 of abusing an autistic patient trusted in her care. Michael Dale Garritson was caught physically abusing the young patient after his parents became suspicious and set up a hidden camera.

Garritson, 62, is caught on film pulling the hair, twisting the arms and even gouging the eyes of 24-year-old Jamie Oakley. Jamie suffers from severe autism and epileptic seizures—doctors testifying described him as “defenseless.” Jamie could not verbalize the abuse to his parents—his mother became suspicious when the baby monitor in Jamie’s room had been tampered with. Due to the conviction, Garritson lost his RN license and is facing 8 years in prison.

“The thought of how long this was going on gives me nightmares,” said Kim Oakley, the victim’s mother. “I can’t really describe the love I have for him. It’s so protective, like a wounded bird.”

It is understandable that Kim feels so betrayed. People put a lot of trust in caregivers looking after their family members—particularly ones that are elderly or disabled.

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