Food Fight Turns Deadly at Nursing Home

Accused resident has history of prison time and violence

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pot roast is good, but not worth murder.

    As you're perusing the workplace break room today, remember to keep your hands off other people's lunch. Seriously.

    A 62-year-old nursing home resident is accused of beating and murdering a 72-year-old patient who ate his lunch.

    On August 21, Andres Cardona, who suffered from dementia, wandered into Ardyce Nauden's room at Columbus Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and began eating the pot roast he found there. Outraged, Nauden punched Cardona in the head.

    "He was trying to steal my food and that is why I hit him," Nauden told police, reports the Sun-Times.

    Cardona was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital for his injuries. He later died from injuries related to the punch.

    Nauden has a history of violence. 

    He had served prison time on drug convictions and was described by authorities as a "psychotic felon," according to Breaking News.

    The punching incident is just one of numerous cases exposed by the Chicago Tribune in which elderly and disabled adults in nursing homes were assaulted or murdered by fellow residents. Illinois law currently allows thousands of felons with qualifying disabilities to be given Medicaid-funded nursing care, housing them with the general population.

    State Department of Public Health officials are investigating Columbus Park for the handling of Cardona's death as well as over a dozen prior allegations of violence. Authorities have cited and imposed a running fine of $300 a day on the Center, which will be in effect until the facility satisfactorily complies with safety laws.

    A facility spokesperson said the Center is contesting the fines and citation.

    Nauden was initially charged in August with attempted murder and aggravated battery, to which he pleaded not guilty. After Cardona died, the charges were upgraded to first-degree murder. Nauden has not yet entered a responding plea.

    Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.