Workers accused of encouraging fight at group home

Kristin Thorne reports from Hampton Bays.

February 6, 2014 3:21:37 PM PST
There are stunning charges against four workers at a group home on Long Island.

They're accused of encouraging a disabled resident to attack another, and police say it was all captured on video in Southampton.

Rosemary Vanni didn't answer any questions in front of a judge Thursday.

That's because she didn't show up to her court date so she had to be tracked down and picked up by officers

She along with three others, Erin McHenry, Stephen Komara and Justin McDonald, are being charged with felony endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person.

Police say the workers, while employed at this facility operated by Independent Group Home Living in Hampton Bays, encouraged a developmentally disabled client to attack another client with disabilities.

Investigators got a hold of cell phone video showing the entire thing and say the workers can be heard laughing and encouraging the fight in the background.

"It's a little disturbing, footage where one of the clients who is wheelchair bound is knocked down and there's some hitting and stomping," said Det. Sgt. Lisa Costa, Southampton Town Police Department.

The Independent Living Program says once they learned of the alleged incident they contacted the police.

They said in a statement to Eyewitness News, "Our agency is outraged and offended by these alleged acts. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and support a vigorous prosecution."

Independent Group Home Living says they thoroughly screen every person who works for them. These four will have to find new jobs because they've been fired.

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