A former caregiver at a Pensacola group home for disabled adults was charged on Tuesday with criminal neglect in relation to an August moped accident that injured one of the residents. The 22-year-old woman is facing several criminal charges in regards to the accident, including neglect of a disabled adult causing great bodily harm, forgery, and falsifying records.
The young woman was an employee at Community Outreach in Pensacola. According to the Florida Attorney General’s Office, she left the facility without authorization on August 29, taking one of the residents, a 22-year-old disabled man, with her to a friend’s house.
While at the friend’s home, the caregiver allowed the disabled man to ride on the back of a moped. Unfortunately, the joy ride ended with a collision with another moped, and the man sustained a broken leg that required surgery.
Caregiver Accused of Trying to Cover Up Moped Accident, Lying About Driving Record
After the motorcycle accident, the Attorney General’s Office says, the young woman filed a report claiming that the disabled man’s broken leg was caused when he tripped over a tree branch outside the group home.
Community Outreach’s policy does not allow staff members to leave the facility at all without permission from a supervisor, much less take residents on unplanned excursions. The woman had previously been reprimanded for leaving the facility without authorization and for taking a company vehicle without permission in regards to an August 10 incident.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the former employee’s driver’s license has been suspended since 2007, and the woman falsified her driving record when she applied to be a caretaker at Community Outreach.
The woman was arrested on Tuesday, November 9, and booked into the Escambia County Jail on a $20,000 bond. If she is convicted on all counts, she could face a $20,000 fine and up to 25 years in prison. She could also be sued by the resident’s family or guardian for personal injury caused by her misconduct.
Source: Pensacola News Journal, “Joy ride on moped ends in broken leg of disabled adult, charges for caregiver,” Thyrie Bland, November 11, 2010