Local News

Durham deputy cleared of roughing up man with Alzheimer's

Posted July 14, 2010 3:23 p.m. EDT

— The Durham County Sheriff's Office has found no wrongdoing by a deputy following an incident last month in which an elderly man with Alzheimer's wound up in a hospital.

Justo Santander, 78, wandered away from home on June 22. He later showed up outside a home more than 12 miles away, startling the homeowner, who called 911.

When the deputy, whose name hasn't been released, confronted and questioned Santander, authorities said, the man mumbled and seemed confused. He also refused to drop an item he held in his hand.

Santander and the deputy scuffled as the deputy tried to handcuff him, and Santander suffered a black eye, a cut on his face and bruised shoulders, neck and ribs.

Sheriff's Capt. Donald Ladd said an internal investigation determined that the deputy didn't violate the department's use-of-force policy.