Residents of Boonsboro assisted-living facility relocated, pending state probe

Woman who fell through floor listed in serious condition; Soma Manor House owner facing charges

August 13, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • The Soma Manor assisted living home in Boonsboro was shut down and its two remaining residents were relocated Friday as Maryland State Police and a state agency investigate an 84-year-old patient's fall,
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

BOONSBORO — An assisted living center north of Boonsboro was shut down and its two remaining residents were relocated Friday as Maryland State Police and a state agency investigate an 84-year-old patient’s fall, an incident the facility’s owner allegedly tried to cover up, according to authorities and Washington County District Court records.

Soma Manor House resident Eileen Hope Rindone was seriously injured when she fell about 9 feet through a second-story floor to the first floor of the assisted living center at 7701 Old National Pike, according to court documents.

Dickson Oben Tabi, 52, the owner of Soma Manor assisted living center, put Rindone back in bed and did not call for an ambulance until about eight hours after she had fallen, according to court records.

Rindone fell between 9 and 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9, and a call was made to 911 at 5:51 p.m. that day, according to the Washington County Division of Emergency Services.


Rindone’s condition was upgraded to serious Monday afternoon at R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said. Rindone was transferred Sunday to Shock Trauma from Meritus Medical Center east of Hagerstown, where she had been listed in critical condition during the weekend.

Tabi was charged with reckless endangerment and two counts of abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, according to court documents. He was released Saturday on $20,000 bond.

Tabi did not return a phone message left for him Monday afternoon at Soma Manor.

In interviews with state police, Tabi allegedly changed his story about what happened Aug. 9 and about how Rindone received her injuries, according to court documents.

The man who called 911 reported a resident apparently had fallen off a toilet “sometime this afternoon,” according to a recording of the 911 call.

State police arrived at Meritus Medical Center around 11 p.m. on Aug. 9 to investigate a reported assault of an elderly female, court records state.

After state police went to the hospital, they went to Soma Manor where, at first, Tabi told police Rindone was very active and could have fallen, but he could not say when or where she fell, according to court documents.

On Aug. 10, her doctor told state police Rindone had a “heel fracture that was likely from a hard fall from something higher than her bed,” court records state. The doctor told police that if Rindone had fallen down stairs, she would not have been able to climb back up the stairs due to her injuries, which also included a broken ankle, several broken ribs, several broken vertebrae, a broken pelvis and a severe head injury, court records state.

The brick home on Old National Pike serves as both an assisted living center, with residents or patients on the first floor, and living quarters for Tabi and his wife on the second floor, Cpl. James Updegraff said.

According to court records, ambulance workers found Rindone in her bed and Tabi denied helping Rindone get back in bed.

Later on Aug. 10, state police, including Updegraff, again interviewed Tabi, who identified himself as the owner and caregiver at Soma Manor, and said he was alone with Rindone and two other patients on Aug. 9, court records state.

Tabi said Rindone had been walking earlier in the day and her roommate informed him of an injury to her arm, court records state.

Tabi said he attempted to contact Rindone’s case manager, and then a local doctor before calling for an ambulance, court records state. He told investigators he became aware of the arm injury at 3 p.m. on Aug. 9 and that the ambulance arrived at approximately 6 p.m. after he requested it, court records state.

Tabi denied seeing Rindone fall, helping her up, helping her into bed or hurting her, court records state.

On Aug. 11, state police executed a search warrant at the assisted living center and conducted a polygraph exam of Tabi, court records state.

Court records state Tabi wanted to make a confession.

Tabi was on the phone and watching TV on the first floor between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Aug. 9, when he heard a noise, court records state.

While investigating the noise, Tabi found Rindone lying on the floor in the dining room area and saw a hole in the ceiling above, court records state.

The area above was under construction due to plumbing work and the subfloor recently had been removed, exposing the floor joists and drywall for the dining room ceiling, court records state. Tabi told police several doors in the residence were to be locked, including the door leading to the upstairs and the door leading to the room where the subfloor had been removed, court records state. Tabi said he neglected to lock both doors, according to allegations in court records.

While Tabi was watching TV, Rindone was able to walk upstairs and enter the room with no subfloor, where she fell through the drywall about 9 feet to the first floor, court records state.

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