Death brings new scrutiny to case of man dumped from wheelchair

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 6:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 6:23 p.m.

The State Attorney's Office is investigating whether new charges should be brought against a man who police say dumped his father out of a wheelchair, hit him and left him on the floor for three days.

David M. Bickford, 75, passed away on Sept. 21. His son, David R. Bickford, 53, was arrested and charged with aggravated abuse on an elderly adult on Aug. 20.

According to an arrest report, Bickford argued with his father, lifted the wheelchair and dumped him out of it.

As his father lay on the ground, Bickford repeatedly punched him in the chest, grabbed his nose and wrenched it and kicked him in the abdomen several times, according to the report. He also stepped on and ground his father's hand into the floor with his foot, the report said.

A caregiver found the older Bickford in a pool of his own urine and having difficulty breathing, the report said, and the son told the caregiver his father had been on the floor since Friday and he was going to leave him there "until he was dead," the arrest report said.

The son was put in the Alachua County jail and has since bonded out.

Spencer Mann, chief investigator at the State Attorney's Office, said the office may contact the medical examiner's office, as well as other agencies.

"It is being investigated," he said. "We're consulting with law enforcement receiving additional documentation in the case.

Several friends of the older Bickford declined to comment on the story due to the possibility of pending charges.

"I don't want to jeopardize the case," one said.

According to an obituary that ran in The Sun on Sept. 25, the older Bickford lived in Gainesville for the past 46 years and was the director of Internal Control at University of Florida for 31 years.

He was an avid sailor and loved his Lionel train collection, the obituary said. He is survived by his son, two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

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