A New York nursing home resident who was in an argument with his 71-year-old roommate over a privacy curtain which separated their two beds has allegedly killed him by beating him to death. This happened on Wednesday, police investigators have reported.
Thomas Yarnavick, age 66, was being held on both weapons and murder charges in the alleged homicide that shocked the Beacon Rehabilitation and Nursing Center which is located in the Rockaways. The nursing home where the two men resided was badly damaged during Superstorm Sandy last year. Yarnavick allegedly killed the roommate with a metal piece from a wheelchair.
Aaron Lichtman, center spokesperson stated that the home was like a small, tightly knit town, and one does not know how to act when discovering such incredibly heartbreaking news. He also stated the men had been living together since July and there had never been any sort of warning signs or apparent problems existing between the two. He stated that such violence had never transpired at the center before in this type of manner.
The two men were apparently in their room at around 1:29 a.m. Wednesday morning when some sort of argument erupted between the two. It was so violent that a nursing home worker called for New York police, authorities said. The victim suffered severe trauma to the head and was rushed to a near-by hospital. There he was pronounced dead, police added. The man’s name has not yet been released and it was not clear at the scene if the wheelchair belonged to either of the roommates.
After Yarnavick was taken into custody, he was awaiting arraignment in New York later on Wednesday. It was not yet known if he had retained the services of a lawyer.
Lichtman explained that the nursing center could hold up to 120 inhabitants. He stated though he was not positive just how many individuals were presently residing there nor could he say just how long the murder victim or Yarnavick had either one been living there. Grief counselors and psychologists were arriving at the nursing home as to be accessible for any residents who wanted to talk with them, he added.
There is going to be a lot of work to do to help the nursing home residents, Lichtman explained. He spoke about how everyone was grieving, including the employees.
The nursing home is situated right on the boardwalk in the Rockaways. That is one of the areas that were hit the worst by Hurricane Sandy last year when the super storm came onshore. Seawater collided against the building’s first floor a year ago. The nursing home occupants were forced to remain inside the building while the storm hit because their evacuation request was denied.
They were then forced to live in a waterlogged, sand-filled building for quite a few days afterward. The lights only stayed on because of emergency generators. Finally the state gave out a compulsory evacuation order when a snowstorm advanced upon New York state only a few days later. Ninety-nine patients were finally evacuated under extremely demanding conditions. Most of those individuals were then returned less than seven days later.
Even with all that stress, nothing like the nursing home resident allegedly killing the roommate happened at that time.
Written by: Kimberly Ruble