Orange County News

Video of suspected elder abuse in Irvine prompts investigation

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A YouTube video of a man confronting another man who allegedly abuses his elderly mother by having her panhandle at a mall into the wee hours of the morning has prompted an investigation into the woman's well-being.

In the video, an elderly woman is picked up by a man believed to be her son after spending several hours outdoors at the University Town Center in Irvine on a cold December night.

The man who shot the video says the woman told him she was homeless and begged for money. In the video, he is seen confronting the other man, who is heard becoming agitated.

"Are you paid to do this? Yes or no?" he says.

Former UC Irvine student Thanh Le says he too encountered the same woman and the man two years ago.

"She had a cap with her and she would poke out the cap and ask for donations. 'Can you donate, please?' That was the one thing she always said," he said.

Le also says the man became very agitated when he tried to ask questions.

"He immediately perceived me as a threat, and started accusing me of working for the banks, calling me a stooge and basically all of the things in the video explains exactly," Le said.

The YouTube video has gotten thousands of hits. Irvine police began an investigation last month after seeing the video.

"The particular incident that is depicted on the video tape was not criminal in nature, however, an investigation is ongoing regarding the welfare of the woman in the video," said Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen.

The investigation by Irvine police and Adult Protective Services is ongoing, and currently no charges are pending.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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