TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - An 86-year-old man is fighting for his life at ECMC, after a disturbing alleged assault at Kenwell Depaul Adult Care Center in Tonawanda. According to a police report, a resident of the adult care center attacked another member of the center on November 26th.
Police report that Chester Rusek, 87, admits to using a black heavy duty magnet, with a string tied to it, to beat Salvatore Trusello. When police arrived on the scene, Trusello was bleeding from his face, and there was bruising on his head, chest, abdomen and forearms. He also complained of severe rib pain. He was taken to ECMC, where he remains in critical condition.
"These are two people that were roommates in their assisted living center over there. A magnet, like a two-and-a-half pound magnet or so on a string. Kind of swung the magnet and hit him repeatedly about the head, face," said Detective Lt. Joseph Carosi. "He felt that the roommate of his was stealing from him, whether it be records, like financial records, or money itself. But he believed that the roommate was stealing from him."
The included photos, provided to News 4 by Trusello's family, show both the victim in August, and then one day after the attack.
Police say Rusek was waiting for them, because he said he knew he would be arrested. Police say Rusek said, "I didn't want to kill him, I just wanted to get even." According to police, Rusek said he was getting back at him for allegedly stealing his records. Rusek told police there was no argument that day, and that he was not provoked by Trusello that day.
But Trusello's daughter told News 4 by phone that her father kept to himself and wouldn't do something like that. She says the family has a lot of questions.
"No one just snaps one day and has a behavior. There had to be some warning. There had to be some indication. There had to be some history," Lisa Trusello Snow said.
Trusello remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries at the Erie County Medical Center, according to family. Police say he suffered a deflated lung, possible right wrist fracture and right clavicle and left orbital fractures.
Snow said, "He still does have moments of consciouness, so he's not so-called brain dead. But physically his condition is deteriorating, and we don't know what's going to happen."
Police say Rusek attacked Trusello and then told the front desk to get medical help. The center's resident director said that is how staff learned about the incident.
A representative for Kenwell Depaul Adult Care Center issued the following statement to News 4, "Kenwell is licensed as an adult care home and follows all regulations pertaining to admission as regulated by the New York State Department of Health. HIPAA confidentiality laws prevent us from commenting about the case but we cooperated fully with the authorities to assure a positive resolution. The safety and well being of our residents is always our primary concern."
Police say they took Rusek into custody for first-degree assault.
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