Crime

This Long Beach caregiver is accused of breaking the bones of a vulnerable adult, sheriff says

James Joseph Tauzin
James Joseph Tauzin

A Long Beach caregiver is accused of assaulting a 61-year-old man, breaking his hip and an arm, officials say.

When family members reported they had not heard from the man, who cannot take care of himself, in four weeks, an investigation was launched by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office.

On Friday, deputies arrested 39-year-old James Joseph Tauzin of Long Beach on two charges of felonious infliction of injury to a vulnerable adult.

Sheriff Troy Peterson said the victim had been thrown to the ground Feb. 12 by Tauzin, who is described as the caregiver. The victim broke an arm, and about seven days later, Peterson said Tauzin again threw the victim to the ground. This time, the man broke his hip.

Peterson said Tauzin did not provide medical aid, did not call for medical assistance and would not allow the victim to reach out for help.

He said deputies found the man in medical distress at Tauzin’s 28th Street address in Long Beach.

Peterson told the Sun Herald that Tauzin had been taking care of the victim for up to nine months. It’s unclear what led to the assaults.

He said the 61-year-old was is receiving medical attention at a local hospital and is in stable condition. He added the man will need surgery to repair the broken bones.

Tauzin was held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Facility in lieu of a $100,000 bond set by Justice Court Judge Diane Ladner.

Peterson said additional charges are expected.

The Attorney General’s office defines a vulnerable person as “Any person (children included) whose ability to perform the normal activities of daily living or to provide for his/her own are or protection is impaired due to a mental, emotional, physical or development disability or dysfunction, or brain damage or the infirmities of aging. This includes all residents or patients of a care facility.”

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Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2326, @PatrickOchs

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