Frightened residents of a Cartersville assisted living facility wondered if they still had homes after a visitor wanting to leave allegedly tripped an alarm to unlock doors rather than wait for one to be unlocked for him.
Michael Steven Bass of Dallas was arrested and charged in relation to the Sunday, Sept. 22, incident at Star Manor.
A Cartersville Police officer reported being dispatched to the facility at 241 Nelson St. at about 1:11 p.m. after a fire alarm had been pulled.
“Upon arrival I entered the building and observed the fire alarm was still going off,” the officer reported.
“While walking through the facility I was approached by a number of elderly residents who were fearful of the situation, and were asking if the building was safe to be in.
“I observed the staff had evacuated most of the residents, and were still in the process of getting the rest outside.”
The officer then reportedly spoke with a manager who said a patient’s son, Bass, had earlier been visiting his mother at the facility.
The suspect attempted to leave the building and could not do so because of a locked door and he “yelled for staff to come let him out,” the report stated.
Staff members control access to the outside of the facility “due to the number of patients who have Alzheimer’s or dementia” and “must use a key card to unlock all doors to allow access into or out of the facility,” the officer reported.
“(The manager) stated when staff did not arrive quickly enough Mr. Bass pulled the fire alarm, which would unlock all the doors of the facility,” the officer reported.
The officer reported that, as he was interviewing the manager, Bass called the facility’s business phone and the manager “put the call on speaker and asked Mr. Bass why he had pulled the fire alarm.”
“Mr. Bass stated the staff was taking too long to come open the door, and he intended to sue the facility for false imprisonment,” the officer stated.
She then reportedly told Bass a police officer was listening because the call was on speaker phone “at which point Mr. Bass promptly hung up the phone,” the report stated.
“Video of Mr. Bass pulling the fire alarm was provided and was placed into the case file,” it stated.
Bass was booked into the Bartow County Jail on charges of Exploitation and Intimidation of Disabled Adults, Elder Persons and Residents, a felony; and misdemeanors including Terroristic Threats and Acts, Transmitting False Fire Alarm and Disorderly Conduct, according to jail records.