Family: Mentally challenged man abused

October 25, 2009 3:30:57 PM PDT
There are allegations of abuse Sunday against a state-certified care facility in Brooklyn. The family of a 43-year-old mentally and physically challenged man claim he was brutally assaulted at the Institute of Community Living in Flatbush, and no one is saying how it happened.

Kimberly Creary is determined to get to the bottom of things, how and why her mentally challenged brother, Colbert, ended up hurt.

"His eye was closed, purple and burgundy, it was horrible," she said.

Colbert, who has limited speech, has lived at the Institute of Community Living for 15 years. The small, state-run facility houses those with mental and physical disabilities.

Kimberly got a call from staff on September 23, saying Colbert had been rushed to Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, suffering from an eye abrasion. But when she saw him, she was stunned.

"They don't know what happened," she said. "They told me he got up in the morning, took a shower and was fine and came to downstairs with eye like that."

Darrel Creary remembers his uncle being very agitated.

"He was very angry, pushing everyone away," he said. "I tried to feed him, and he wasn't trying to have that."

Frustrated, Kimberly called police. Officers from the 67th Precinct went to the facility, but Kimberly says staff told them that Colbert was not able to talk and was sleeping. So the officers left.

Then, a preliminary investigation by the state indicated that a worker had been placed on administrative leave, although it's not clear why.

The facility says that because of confidentiality laws, it could not discuss the matter. But Kimberly believes there is more to this story, possible criminal negligence and assault. She is meeting with the district attorney Monday.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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