New details on beating of 94-year-old

Posted at 9:08 PM, Apr 10, 2012
and last updated 2012-04-11 11:09:48-04

William Ruffin’s road to the Oakwood Assisted Living Facility in Suffolk includes several stints in jail and mental hospitals.

But it’s the violent run-in cops say he had with Violet Compton that brought his road to recovery to a screeching halt.

“It’s traumatic what her face looked like,” says Compton’s son Nat

He says his mother’s bruises are so bad he didn’t realize it was her at first. “The features of her face were almost unrecognizable as a person,” says Nat.

Police say William Ruffin, her fellow resident at the Oakwood Assisted Living Facility, attacked her last Thursday.

Witnesses say it seemed he did it “for no apparent reason.”

“She’d been pummeled and it was not just a hit, it looked like someone repeatedly had hit her,” says Nat.

Court documents say Ruffin was convicted of spitting on a police officer in 2005.

He was also found guilty of stealing $2,000 from a Suffolk church in 2006. A psychological evaluation for those charges reveals Ruffin was diagnosed with “schizoaffective disorder” in 1999.

It’s a mental condition causing someone to lose contact with reality. The evaluation goes on to say Ruffin was “exceptionally intelligent” growing up, but he dropped out of an engineering program at Florida A&M University.

He was later discharged from the Navy’s nuclear engineering program for cocaine use. The evaluation also reveals Ruffin spent time in two state mental hospitals. But each time after he was released, he “discontinued medications prescribed at the hospital” and likely “re-initiated substance abuse.” The Oakwood owner says a psychiatrist changed Ruffin’s mental health medication days before the attack.

But officials with the Western Tidewater Community Services Board say abrupt changes in someone’s behavior after a medication change aren’t likely to happen that soon. But violent changes can be induced by alcohol or drug abuse.

Compton’s mother has Alzheimer’s. He says adult services placed her at Oakwood less than a year ago—a decision that’s legally okay by state standards, but it’s one that he does not comprehend. Medical laws bar NewsChannel 3 from learning more about Ruffin’s medication changes without his consent.

Compton is still in the hospital.