Four employees at a group home for disabled adults in New York allegedly encouraged two severely handicapped men to attack each other. Eric McHenry, Justin McDonald, Stephen Komara, and Rosemarry Vanni face felony charges for “endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person.”
The incident came to light after cell phone video footage emerged showing three of the workers egging on the two men, encouraging them to hit each other, knock over the other’s wheelchair, and offering praise when they did. The men are in their 50s, but have the mental development of preschoolers.
“These defendants encouraged two developmentally disabled adults to participate in, what I said on record, is a developmentally disabled fight club,” said special prosecutor Jacqueline Kagan, of the New York State Justice Center for Protection of People with Special Needs.
The defendants have all been fired from their jobs, and all four could face prison time if convicted.
That’s freaking sad that people could take advantage of other human beings like that. And what for? A few laughs? Stripping someone of the dignity, no matter what their mental capacity, is just plain sick and wrong.
One man with two developmentally disabled children said, “I don’t know what the world is coming to -- but the fact that they did that, and thought it was funny? It wouldn’t be so funny if they were the ones on the other end of the fist.”
Exactly. Shame on anyone that takes advantage of people, especially those that depend on others for their wellbeing.
Do you think they should face prison time if convicted?
Image via Peter Ras/Flickr