TOOELE — A 56-year-old man who police said was engaged in a "consistent pattern of neglect and physical abuse" toward his parents has been arrested and charged.
Bret Mattinson of Tooele was charged Wednesday in Tooele's 3rd District Court with intentional aggravated abuse of a disabled or elderly adult, a second-degree felony. Investigators believe Mattinson physically abused his elderly father and severely neglected his mother.
On April 17, Mattinson's 82-year-old father, Russell Mattinson, was taken to the emergency room of Mountain West Medical Center. The man had bruising around both eyes and was later given a CT scan so doctors could look for "possible bleeding on the brain from past trauma to the head," according to a police affadavit filed in 3rd District Court.
Tooele Police Capt. Paul Wimmer said the father had multiple injuries in various stages of healing.
The 76-year-old mother, Judy Mattinson, told hospital staffers that her son would "pop" the elder Mattinson for arguing with him, according to the report.
Upon further examination, "Hospital staff noted the victim had a yeast infection to his buttocks and genitals due to his adult diaper not being changed. They noted the victim has a fractured rib," in addition to being "malnourished and dehydrated," the report said. After hospital staffers bathed and shaved the man, they found more bruising around his face and bruising around his jaw, "commonly left when a subject is grabbed by the throat," the report stated.
When detectives went to the victim's West Hawthorne Stree home for further investigation, they "could smell a strong odor of urine and feces" as soon as they opened the door, according to the report. Officers then spotted a bucket next to a chair.
"The victim's wife pointed to the bottle and said she was going to the bathroom. She stated she cannot walk so she has to use the bucket and bottle," according to the report.
There's just no excuse for the circumstances, the conditions, these two elderly vulnerable people were put through.
–Capt. Paul Wimmer
When police questioned the mother, she told officers that her son and husband often fight and the son would put his hands around his neck and "pop" his father, "harder than he should," according to the report.
Wimmer said the mother did not appear to be physically abused, but her overall condition, as well as the home's condition where all three lived, showed a "lack of care," Wimmer said.
Mattinson told police he, "Does the best that he can," Wimmer said. "He said he would get frustrated at how the father would yell both at the mother and him."
But Wimmer said yelling at someone didn't warrant the type of abuse the elderly couple suffered.
"There's just no excuse for the circumstances, the conditions, these two elderly vulnerable people would put through."
Contributing: Peter Samore
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