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Apex man accused of assaulting elderly mother

Posted January 12, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Police have charged an Apex man in connection with allegations that he assaulted his 87-year-old mother.

Samuel Ray Topps, 56, of 502 E. Chatham St., was arrested Jan. 7 on one count of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, which is a felony.

Fear keeps elderly from reporting abuse Fear keeps elderly from reporting abuse

Apex police said his mother, Doris Topps, was treated and released from a local hospital following a Dec. 24 call to 911 in which she reported that she had fallen.

A family friend then contacted the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services after she revealed that her son had pushed her.

Upon further investigation and questioning, police learned Samuel Topps allegedly pushed his mother multiple times during a fight.

At the time of his arrest, Topps lived with his mother. She is now in a rehabilitation facility, and he was in the Wake County jail Monday under a $30,000 bond.

According to the Division of Aging and Adult Services, as many as 2 million Americans over 65 have been somehow mistreated by their caretakers.

Nancy Warren, director of the division's Adult Protective Services, says one in five incidents of elder abuse gets reported because of shame and fear.

"There's a lot of issues about not having to leave your own home, about enraging someone whom you're relying on to give you care," Warren said.

"We want to try to help in the best way we can, and we have to get them to come forward and report these instances to us," Apex police Sgt. Sean Pearson said.

Olene Ogles, a 78-year-old Cary resident, says victims need to muster the courage to tell someone.

"I think the main thing is to acknowledge to yourself that this may not be a good person," Ogles said. "Pay attention and not just assume that's it's your fault."

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  • aalpha Jan 12, 2009

    I know *of* the Topps. I live close enough I have seen the police at their house several times. I hope she can reconcile herself to the idea she cannot cover for him any more. Loving your son to death is one thing, loving him until he kills you is *too* much. Mrs. Topps is in everyone's prayers.

  • christineswisher Jan 12, 2009

    It sounds like something my 86-year-old mother is dealing with - she is intimidated by my 50-some year old brother who has lived with my mother for over 20 years and lives off of her - he screams, curses and has torn up her entire house. He has isolated her from her entire family and NO one will go around. She supports, feeds him (extravagantly, I might add), pays all her and his bills and is STILL almost in foreclosure. She says "she supports the household." She is obsessed with him and will NEVER acknowledge that he is abusive. I have contacted social services and they won't do anything about it. He is an alcoholic and drives her car with no license, never hardly works and spends all his money on what he wants, never gives her any money for anything. She is in complete denial about what is going on and never says anything about what he does.

  • pebbles262004 Jan 12, 2009

    So sad for his Mother. Hope she is better soon!

  • miketroll3572 Jan 12, 2009

    +1 garnertoy........he would not be a memeber of the family for long....

  • pwilliamson53 Jan 12, 2009

    What a sick person. To beat his own Mother, a woman that brought him into this world. Well he can be taking out just easily. Nothing justifies him hitting (beating) this defenseless woman of 87 years old. Sick, Sick, Sick!!!!! Hopefully is recovering from her injuries. But I'm sure her heart is broken knowing her own son beat her.

  • atmom Jan 12, 2009

    I know this guy and he is CRAZY!! I also know his mama and she is so sweet, always had problems with him. Praying for her!

  • angora2 Jan 12, 2009

    What a cool guy. He can beat up an 87-year-old woman.

  • garnertoy Jan 12, 2009

    now that one sorry son you dont never ever do that to your mother or elderly person or child. He better be glad hes not kin to me