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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Portsmouth, NH Police had an unusual situation on their hands last night.
Not that they are not used to taking down barricaded suspects. It's just unusual that the suspect is 91 years old.
A resident at the Sunbridge Care and Rehab Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire has been charged with felony attempted assault after a situation with police Friday night. It happened just after seven at the center... 91 year old Charles Cruikshank had baricaded himself and another resident in a room and was weilding a pocket knife.
Within minutes of arriving - officers forced their way into the room and forced Cruikshank to the ground... no one was injured. Cruikshank was arrested and has since been released on $5,000 bail.
WCSH
 

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At that age, it could be because of "dementia." Those poor out folks start losing their minds after a certain age and start getting mean without realizing it. Allot of old folks die because of the disease and I know first hand the effects it can play with thier mind having lost a family member to it.
 

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PORTSMOUTH — Family and friends are outraged over the arrest of a 91-year-old man at a city nursing home.
Charles Cruikshank was arrested Friday after allegedly barricading himself in a room at SunBridge Care and Rehabilitation for Portsmouth. There was another patient in the room with him at the time. He was taken to Portsmouth Regional Hospital and charged with felony attempted assault with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor attempted assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was released to the hospital on $5,000 personal recognizance bail.
Those closest to him say he was treated brutally and with no respect for his age. His family says he is a sweet, gentle man with Alzheimer's disease who may have believed he was back in a World War II prisoner of war camp fighting for his life. It was his first day at the care facility.
"It's been an unbelievable nightmare, and it just keeps going," said Cruikshank's daughter-in-law Irene. "I left him at 5 p.m., and by 7:30 p.m., he was under arrest. If he was a danger to anyone, it was to the people he thought were guards, the enemy. He was not a threat to his roommate. He was trying to protect him."
Family friend Mike Ham said Cruikshank defines the phrase "an officer and a gentleman."
Police and staff at SunBridge Care and Rehabilitation for Portsmouth defended their actions during the incident, saying they were necessary to ensure public safety.
"There were five officers there," said Police Chief Michael Magnant. "Two were outside talking to him through the window, trying to get him to remain calm. He was waving the knife and making fighting gestures toward them."
Because there was another person in the room, Magnant said, police were worried about injuries.
"He had put a cart in front of the door, but it was not locked. The three officers at the door pushed it open. He slid and fell to the floor, and they arrested him."
Magnant said he believes Cruikshank kicked a nurse in the face when he was fighting and resisting. And he said there was the knife to consider.
While the penknife is something Cruikshank has owned for more than 45 years, his family questions why he still had it after being admitted to a dementia ward.
"He was terrified," said Cruikshank's daughter Sharon. "It was a three-inch pen knife. They are going to have to answer to a lawyer as to why he still had it. You don't put someone in a dementia unit without searching him. And if they had asked him to empty his pockets, he would have done it in a heartbeat."
That question was put to SunBridge administrator David Ross, but was not directly answered. Instead, in a prepared statement, Ross said: "When admitting residents to our center, we carefully follow a set of regulatory procedures, which were followed in this case. I wholeheartedly support the actions taken by the staff in contacting the local police department to ensure the safety of all residents as well as our employees on duty. I am available to all family and residents to discuss any concerns they have."
Longtime family friend Donna Pantelakos is a nurse.
"I know the procedure," she said. "He should have had a full body check. His sister, an emergency contact, was never even notified until after he was arrested. I wonder how badly this could have gone if it had been a gun. I could have subdued Chuck myself, my 150 pounds to his 130."
Cruikshank remained at Portsmouth Regional Hospital through Monday. The family said because he's considered to have had a violent episode, they couldn't get him placed for evaluation. Finally, the staff at Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill, Mass., agreed to take him for a two-week evaluation.
Sharon Cruikshank came home from Connecticut within the past year to care for her father because he was starting to have episodes.
"This one was the worst," she said. "I was always around and could snap him out of it. He's was a POW for two and a half years, shot down over Germany. He's always talked about the war, but I noticed it more and more so in the past year. He just lost his last buddy of his crew, and I think it did him in. So the other night — I think, being a POW, that training in his DNA took over. He thought something was going to happen with his roommate. His delusions are always centered around rescuing and protecting someone. It's a common thread."
Portsmouth state Rep. Laura Pantelakos and her family have been friends with the Cruikshanks for many years. She said she plans to call the Department of Health and Human Services and ask for an investigation.
"I'm very concerned that a man with Alzheimer's in a dementia unit was surrounded by officers," Pantelakos said. "It saddens me our police department would go to those lengths. Five police officers says common sense did not prevail. Police Standards and Training needs to add a little sensitivity training up there."
Sharon Cruikshank said if her father knew he had been in the news, it would kill him.
"He would be so mortified," she said. "He'd never hurt a flea. He saved guys in the POW camp."
PORTSMOUTH HERALD
 
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