Norwalk Police deny ignoring an elderly woman as she crawled up the stairs to her home, as alleged on social media in posts featuring a brief video.
After seeing the video, the department conducted a full investigation, Norwalk Police Chief James Walsh said Friday in a news release. “Without any other context, it could appear that the elderly woman was improperly disregarded. However, after conducting a thorough investigation, which includes evidence of the woman being offered medical assistance, once by paramedics and a second time by the Norwalk Police, it is clear that there is no evidence of neglect.”
A 38-second video posted to TikTok by “CantStopPoppin” shows a Norwalk Police officer descending a stairway and casually passing an elderly woman ascending on the other side by keeping her hands on the stairs. It states that the woman is the poster’s friend’s grandmother and asks, “Who raised you officer?” The police department should do better and “I grew up in Norwalk, this is awful,” it states.
Police responded to a report of domestic violence at 5:50 p.m. May 6, 2022, at 10 Southwind Drive, Walsh said. An elderly woman owned the home but a middle-aged man and a woman were in a dispute; the middle-aged woman said the man had pulled her hair and slammed her head against the wall as she called 911.
She was taken to the hospital and “William Bateman was arrested and charged with Assault third-degree along with various drug charges after a large amount of contraband and paraphernalia was located in his residence,” Walsh said.
The short video clip taken from the Southwind Drive homeowner’s security system doesn’t show officers escorting the elderly woman to the roadway to keep her safe while the “situation was still dynamic” between the middle-aged couple, Walsh said. Bodycam video shows the “clearly shaken” elderly woman walking unassisted around the property, then using her hands to ascend the stairs, then walking upright inside the house.
Police investigators spoke to a family member “who stated that the woman had been navigating the exterior stairs with the use of her hands for several years,” Walsh said. The family member had been there during the incident and said the elderly woman was not in medical distress. The family had planned to add a railing to the stairs but that hadn’t been done.
“I can assure you that I am dedicated to ensuring my officers carry out their duties with the highest level of professionalism and care and I am committed to fully investigating any further allegations to the contrary,” Walsh said. “When evidence is presented to warrant disciplinary action, you can rest assured that I will take such action. However, in this case, I do not find any violations of the law or our departmental policies.”
He added, “If you or someone you know is the victim of family violence there is help available. Contact the Domestic Violence Crisis Center 24-hour hotline at 203-588-9097 or call 911.”
Norwalk Police anonymous tip line: 203-854-3111 Detective Bureau information line: 203-854-1011 Norwalk Police website: www.norwalkpd.com Anonymous TEXT tips can be submitted by typing “NORWALKPD” into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to TIP411 (847411)