A Boca Raton caregiver accused of leaving her elderly dementia patient in a casino parking lot for two hours fainted during her initial court appearance Monday, but recovered to be ordered held on $11,000 bond.
Mary Holly, 53, was arrested Sunday after guests spotted 95-year-old Belle Sapstein in a car outside the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek. The self-professed nurse is charged with one count of neglect of an elderly person.
As first reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Sapstein was left in her own silver Saturn without food, drink, or a cell phone. A Coconut Creek police report noted that she showed no visible signs of distress but was unable to answer basic questions about herself, reports the Associated Press.
Casino surveillance video showed Holly arrive in the parking lot at 4:49 p.m. Sunday, according to the Sun-Sentinal, and police were dispatched at 7:07 p.m. Local10 reports the car was turned off, with the windows rolled only partially down.
"At almost 10 o'clock at night, a woman who's supposed to be a nurse's aide leaves a 95-year-old woman allegedly alone in a car for several hours," noted Broward County Circuit Judge Louis Schiff at the hearing (view the entire bond court video below). "My guess is that she's inside gambling."
According to the police report, Holly was already wanted on an unrelated and outstanding warrant in Palm Beach County for grand theft and exploitation of an elderly person.
While Schiff and her attorney discussed details of setting bond Monday, Holly began to sway slightly on her feet, appearing to try to grab the court podium before slipping to the floor. The court recessed until Holly recovered, at which point her bond was set at $5,000 on the neglect charge and $3,000 each on the two previous charges. She was also banned from caring for patients pending trial.
"But for the good Samaritan who saw her and but for the fact that it was at night where the sun couldn't be coming in the car, we could have had a totally different scenario," Schiff noted.
Authorities said Sapstein was taken to a local hospital.
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