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Aide charged with taking drug from Crystal Lake nursing home patient
By Lee Filas | Daily Herald Staff

Jeremiah J. Healless


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Published: 5/18/2010 11:27 AM

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A Harvard man has been charged with aggravated battery for allegedly poking holes in a 92-year-old Alzheimer patient's medication patch to obtain a potent painkiller, Crystal Lake police officials said.

Former certified nursing assistant Jeremiah J. Healless, 25, of the 300 block of North Eastman Street, remains in jail after being accused of the Class 3 felony.

Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Eugene Lowery said Healless was seen on video walking into the patient's room at Fair Oaks Health Care Center, 471 W. Terra Cotta Ave. in Crystal Lake, poking holes in a Fentanyl patch, then pinching the patch to get the drug to bleed out. He would then lick his fingers, wipe them across the drug, and suck on his own fingers to ingest the drug.

Lowery said the nursing home heard about the incident, then set up a video system to see what was taking place. They contacted police after videotaping Healless, then fired him.

"How desperate can any human being be to victimize a defenseless 92-year-old Alzheimer patient," Lowery said. "The nursing home should be commended for how they conducted the investigation, how they handled the patient and the family of the patient, as well as working with authorities."

He said the investigation continues and additional charges are possible.

Healless remains in McHenry County Jail unable to post 10 percent of his $25,000 bail. He is due back in court May 25.