Four employees of a Florida group home were arrested after disturbing surveillance footage showed them abusing a patient.
According to Boston 25 News, 29-year-old Breneisha Kantrel Blunt, 41-year-old Sheneka Adel Hester, 25-year-old Carolyn Emma Lee Joe, and 24-yer-old Jaleyah Nicole Wiggins were arrested and charged with aggravated abuse of a disabled adult.
The surveillance video showed the four women “beating, shoving and standing on the head of” a disabled woman being cared for at the group home. The abuse reportedly took place on August 13, when authorities were called to the scene for “a verbal disturbance.”
In a statement released by the Mount Dora Police, the patient had a cut on her lip, bruising on her face, and a skinned knee when they arrived. They were initially told the woman sustained her injuries “while acting out”:
The employees stated that the female caused the injuries to herself and her behavior while the officers were on scene was extremely erratic and consistent with the employees’ statements at the time. The officers evaluated the victim under the provisions of the Baker Act, but she did not meet the criteria. Officers documented the injuries in an incident report and The Department of Children and Families (DCF) was notified.
According to Boston 25 News, the employees told the responding police officers that they executed “the control techniques in which they were trained” in an attempt to keep the patient calm. However, surveillance footage would later show that wasn’t the case.
Two days later, authorities met with the regional director of the group home where they were able to watch surveillance footage that revealed what actually happened with the victim.
As Mount Dora police revealed in their statement, the footage showed that the woman had been abused by four employees. (Warning: The below video contains disturbing imagery):
Blunt, Hester, Joe, and Wiggins were all placed on administrative leave immediately.
As Boston 25 News reports, an affidavit of probable cause described, in part, what could be seen on the video:
“The video later shows Carolyn Joe placing her right foot on (the victim’s) head, and in an attempt to reposition herself, (she) places all of her weight onto her right foot. You can clearly see that her left foot leaves the ground, exposing the light-colored wood flooring beneath her foot. Carolyn Joe is very heavyset and could have easily caused great bodily harm or even death to (the victim).”
The affidavit also stated that two other employees, 51-year-old Michelle Charlene Vickers, and 32-year-old Marquista Janey Stafford, witnessed the abuse, but never attempted to stop it.
Vickers and Stafford were both charged with neglect of a disabled adult. However, it’s unclear if they were also placed on administrative leave.