Muskegon Heights man, allegedly neglected by sister, found with festering infection, lying in own feces

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, MI – A Muskegon Heights man was in such bad condition when Adult Protective Services officials check on him Monday, that the stench inside the home where he was found was nearly overwhelming to those there to help him, authorities said.

The victim, in his late 50s, who remained hospitalized on Wednesday, July 30, for a festering foot infection, was in the care of his sister, Paula Denise Patterson, when he was allegedly neglected and refused necessary care he needed, said Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat.

Patterson was arraigned recently in Muskegon County's 60th District Court on two charges: Resisting and obstructing a police officer, a felony punishable up to two years; and vulnerable adult abuse, fourth degree, which is a 1-year misdemeanor. That charge indicates Patterson was his caretaker at the time and caused him harm by failing to let him receive the treatment or care he needed, Maat said.

Patterson, 57, has no prior criminal history, Maat said.

The victim was found on Monday, July 28, inside the home in the 2000 block of Baker Street in Muskegon Heights, lying on a wood floor in an upstairs portion of the house, Maat said.

"He was urine-soaked and in his own feces and had been experiencing a lot of neglect over a significant period of time," Maat said.

Patterson allegedly wouldn't let police officers who were accompanying Adult Protective Services into the home.

The officials had been to the home previously to check on the victim, but Patterson allegedly wouldn't let them inside.

The victim then called officials himself and requested an ambulance. At that point, police returned to the home and a Muskegon Heights Police Department officer was allegedly shoved by Patterson, Maat said.

Patterson was then arrested.

According to Maat, Patterson is listed with Adult Protective Services as the person providing care for the victim, but was not his legal guardian.

"She took on the responsibility for providing his care. She is not legally required, but once she is, she is required to act with some reasonableness. She failed to provide him adequate care," Maat said.

Patterson is currently out of jail, released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. A judge scheduled a preliminary examination for Aug. 11.

Heather Lynn Peters covers police and fire, and writes a statewide food column, The Spunky Kitchen,  for MLive/Muskegon Chronicle. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @HLPNEWS.