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Lorain man arrested after elderly mother is found neglected and covered in waste


LORAIN — A Lorain man was arrested yesterday after police found his elderly mother malnourished and neglected, suffering from multiple untreated broken bones and lying in her own urine and feces.

Steven Whitman, 51, is charged with domestic violence, patient abuse and gross neglect and failure to provide for a functionally impaired person.

Officers were called to the Delaware Avenue home Whitman shares with his 70-year-old mother, Janet, at 5:30 p.m. after a neighbor reported hearing Whitman screaming and possibly assaulting his mother.

Whitman met officers in the driveway and told them he was only yelling at her because she had just spilled her dinner, according to a police report.

Officers asked to go inside the home to speak with Janet and upon entering were overcome with the stench of garbage, human waste and spoiled food.

"In 20-plus years as a Lorain police officer, I can't remember smelling an odor that bad," officer William Lachner wrote in his report.

They found Janet in a recliner covered in urine and feces with food spilled all over her, the report said.

Whitman told police his mother had just recently urinated herself, but, according to the report, "It was obvious she had been in her own waste for multiple days or longer without care."

The report noted that Janet is functionally impaired and wasn't able to communicate with officers very well.

LifeCare arrived and cut Janet's shirt off her, and it was revealed she had an obvious broken left arm with the bone nearly protruding from the skin. She had other bruises on her face, neck and cheek, the report said.

Officers estimated she weighed about 70 pounds.

Whitman was taken to the Lorain City Jail.

Janet was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, where a doctor said she also has a broken hip and open sores, swelling and bed sores all over her body. She was transferred to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where she is in critical condition today.

According to a written statement from the neighbor, he frequently hears shouting coming from the home and hears Whitman screaming things like "I wish you were dead already!" "I'm going to shove my (expletive) down your throat!" "I don't give a (expletive) about you!" and "If anyone else were taking care of you, you would be dead!"

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