Man beaten at nursing home on day before 84th birthday

HOUSTON – It was not the birthday Fred Lopez's family envisioned for him.

Instead of spending time with and celebrating their father, who turned 84 on Thursday, they found him beaten, bruised and under stress at his nursing home in southeast Houston.

"It was very sad. I was very, very sad what I saw," said one of Lopez's daughters, Leticia Villareal, through tears. "I mean, he is really beaten up really bad."

Lopez's daughters said their father, who suffers from dementia and cannot speak, was attacked by a new roommate at the Briarwood Nursing and Rehabilitation facility in the 7600 block of Bellfort Street, near Telephone Road.

Police said the beating was at the hands of an employee at the facility.

The family said a nurse told them the attack happened Wednesday night but didn't provide specifics. Villareal and the rest of the family now want the complete story.

"The elderly -- they can't speak up. They can't defend themselves," Villareal said. "So someone has to do something about it."

Lopez's children and grandchildren said he has been a strong and loving figure for many decades. They now are looking at several options to find out exactly what happened to their father so they can once again celebrate as a family.

"We're going to get a lawyer and place him somewhere else," Villareal said. "Get him out of there right away, as soon as we can."

Channel 2 tried to speak with the managers of Briarwood Nursing and Rehabilitation over the phone and in person at the facility, but we were told we would need to call or come back Friday morning.

The Houston Police Department is looking into the case as a possible assault.

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