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YouTube video alleging elder abuse probed by Irvine police

February 3, 2013 |  7:26 am

A YouTube video purporting to show elder abuse at the University Town Center in Irvine gained attention online last week and sparked a police investigation.

In the clip, the unseen videographer confronts a man who has wheeled an elderly woman to the passenger-side door of a Toyota Prius.

"Is this your mom? Why do you exploit her?" he asks.

The man being filmed yells back, calls the cameraman a "paid stooge" and accuses him of harassing the woman.

The two trade accusations for almost three minutes, with the videographer repeatedly asking why the man exploits the older woman.

The video's description accuses the unidentified man of forcing the woman to beg for money at locations in Irvine.

In the past week, the video has been submitted at least twice to the link-sharing website Reddit.com, and multiple news outlets have written about it.

However, Irvine police say they've been aware of the video since a few days after it was posted Dec. 5.

"None of this is news to us. We were a month into this investigation before anyone was talking about it," Irvine police spokeswoman Lt. Julia Engen said.

Both Adult Protective Services and Irvine police have spoken to the woman and man shown in the video as part of a cooperative investigation, the lieutenant said.

Police are still digging but Engen said they've so far found no indication of foul play.

Despite the dramatic exchanges, "What you see on that video, there's no evidentiary value there," Engen said.

— Jeremiah Dobruck, Times Community News

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