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Daily Pilot

Man charged in death of mother, 80

Costa Mesa resident is alleged to have neglected woman, including leaving her on the bathroom floor for two days.

By Jeremiah Dobruck

3:56 PM PDT, September 25, 2013

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Police arrested a Costa Mesa man Tuesday for allegedly causing his elderly mother's death by leaving her lying in a puddle of urine on the bathroom floor for two days.

Robert Dickerman, 47, had been neglecting his 80-year-old mother, with whom he lived, and tying her to a bed and portable toilet, police said in a news release Wednesday.

He was the only caretaker for his mother, Yoshiko Dickerman, in a cluttered and dirty home at 938 Azalea Drive.

Authorities discovered the situation about 2:20 a.m. July 3, 2012, when paramedics responded to a call requesting help with a reportedly combative woman in need of medical attention.

Dickerman told paramedics that his mother refused his help after she slipped off the toilet, according to the release. He is alleged to have left her on the floor for two days before a call was made seeking medical help.

Officers found Yoshiko in the fetal position on the bathroom floor, and paramedics took her to Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, where personnel discovered she was dehydrated and had several open sores, police said.

She died from sepsis, a type of infection, the next day, police said.

As police investigated, they found that Dickerman was unemployed and had been caring for his mother since 2001. Police said the home they shared was "in an extremely dirty and cluttered condition."

Dickerman said he couldn't clean the house because he had no time while he cared for his mother, according to police.

The Orange County district attorney's office last week charged Dickerman with involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse causing death.

Costa Mesa police said Dickerman was taken straight to a hospital for assessment of medical issues of his own after the arrest and then transported to Orange County Jail.

He's being held on $1 million bail, police said.