A disturbing video making the rounds on the internet shows workers at a mental health facility viciously attacking and beating a mentally disabled Georgia man who they had been hired to look after.
According to 11Alive, the family of 55-year-old Joey Cason released the video in a bid to raise awareness in the public about the neglect that has become commonplace across such facilities in Georgia.
"These are some of our most weakest, our most vulnerable citizens. So, it’s important to know and watch and to see when they’re not being cared for appropriately," said Brian Jarrad, the family's attorney. After his family could no longer care for him due to his severe mental disabilities, Cason was admitted to Total Care Personal Care Home, a facility on Shinholster Road in Gordan which is licensed to care for the developmentally disabled.
But surveillance footage shows he was severely abused by the very people supposed to take care of him. Captured on November 7, 2013, it shows the staff hitting him with belts, punching him, and even allowing other residents to hit him.
It opens with one of the staff, a woman, yanking Cason's chair and repeatedly slapping him across the face before forcibly pushing him away. A few seconds later, it cuts to the 55-year-old cowering in the corner of the room and the same woman approaching him without provocation and lashing him several times with what appears to be a belt until he falls to the ground.
He can be seen crying and complaining to another person outside the frame, and a few seconds later, that second person joins the woman in beating, slapping, and punching Cason. He then taunts Cason with food and laughs at him.
"I think anybody would find the video despicable," Jarrad said. "It was heartbreaking. It made me angry to think of individuals who were being paid to care for him were engaged in just despicable abuse."
Following the emergence of the video, Gordon Police charged the woman, identified as Shakia Smith, with battery and abuse/neglect of an elder person. But an official report obtained by WMAZ soon confirmed that Cason was not the only person to have suffered abuse at the facility.
The report stated that multiple patients at the home had been punched in the face, suffered black eyes, and even broken arms as a result of their treatment at the hands of staff. There were also allegations of a staff member engaging in sexual misconduct with a patient. The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities has revoked Total Care's license following an investigation.
Jarrad said Carson is now at a different facility in South Georgia and that he was doing well, adding that the case against Pamela Reaves, the owner of Total Care, was still pending in court. Reeves has declined to comment on the pending litigation.
WARNING: Distressing content
Watch the video of the attack here:
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