Man strangled at mental health boarding house

August 10, 2010 2:45:56 PM PDT
The Jassil Home Care Facility in Newark is supposed to be a safe place for the mentally ill.

But early Tuesday morning, police say 23-year-old Maurice Thompson strangled his roommate because he wasn't keeping the room clean enough.

Neighbors on Third Avenue remember Thompson as a troubled young man.

"Like a schizophrenic, talking to himself, yelling, having outbursts," said neighbor, Miguel Goyco.

The Jassil Facility has been a part of this troubled neighborhood for decades, and residents like Miguel Goyco say they've tried to get it shut down.

"The place is basically unsupervised, it's out of control, especially after hours," Goyco said.

About 50 men and women live in the boarding house.

The residents are said to be under 24-hour care, but it's unclear where the counselors were early Tuesday morning.

"I don't think they have enough staff here to look out for the people with psychological problems," said neighbor, John Polanco.

Neither the residents nor the counselors would talk to Eyewitness News, but some other neighbors don't think this one act of violence reflects the entire facility.

"They just stay inside the gate so I don't see much problem with it," said neighbor, Elvis Castillo.

The strangling victim, 50-year-old Dwayne Gun, was apparently singled out for not being tidy enough.

Another resident saw him being attacked and tried to call for help, but it was too late.

Thompson, the victim's roommate, is charged with murder.