Parents of a 31-year-old autistic man have discovered that the around-the-clock caregivers they’d hired to care for their son have been torturing him instead.
Kathy Coleman, mother of Cameron Coleman, used hidden cameras to record caregivers she hired from Jay Nolan Community Services as they interacted with her son. The shocking footage revealed that Cameron, who lives in his own home with 24-hour care in Los Angeles, was beaten, spat on, and threatened with a chain and pellet gun by the caregivers.
The Colemans have filed a civil lawsuit against Jay Nolan Community Services and the caregivers, reported KCBS-TV on Monday.
“This is such a striking example of physical abuse, it’s tantamount to torture and unacceptable,” said Steve Gambardella, the Colemans’ attorney. “The company is not training their personnel correctly or at all. The people they’re hiring are not fit to be in a position of care or trust of a dependent adult who deserves the utmost care and attention.”
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Kathy said she and her husband found it too difficult to care for Cameron -- who has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old -- as they got older, and so decided to pay for around-the-clock care instead. The Colemans, however, never expected that abuse such as this would be the result.
The footage reveals disturbing footage, such as one worker kicking Cameron in the face when he was on the toilet and smacking him with a towel. Another worker used a pellet gun to threaten him while he was undressed.
"I could not believe one human being, even the bad person, would attack a disabled person,” Coleman told KCBS-TV.
Two workers were ultimately let go, and one, Oscar Espinosa, was arrested and charged with abuse.
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Jay Nolan Community Services responded briefly to the incident, assuring the family they are taking the matter very seriously.
“We understand that incidents are being reported that certain conduct fell below the high standards we hold. Any such claim is taken very seriously ... and this reported conduct was immediately communicated to adult protective service and the police.”