A week after several caretakers in Akron were arrested for allegedly abusing a developmentally disabled man in a group home, an employee that worked with them is speaking out.
“It’s hurtful, it’s sad and it’s definitely embarrassing,” said Duane Dixson.
Dixson is a former ViaQuest employee who worked with the three individuals arrested and charged in the abuse of a developmentally disabled man inside an Akron group home.
According to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Dominique Gladney, 23, Octavious Thomason, 43 and Mennyon Davis, 26, were arrested and charged with assault and abduction. Records show the three individuals led a developmentally disabled man they were with into the basement of the home and beat him with a broomstick. Records allege the man was hit because he stole a sandwich.
“It’s just ugly, it’s sad and it’s embarrassing and I hope that we can come to a positive solution to it,” said Dixson.
Dixson considered the three people charged friends. He also knew the man they allegedly abused.
“We spend a lot of time with them," Dixon said of the clients in the home. "Like we spend more time at that group home than we do at our own houses so, we have good days and like any other job, we have bad days,” he said.
ViaQuest, who employed the three people involved in the alleged beating, no longer runs the group home and refused to comment on the investigation.
Dixson said he was saddened by the news, and for him and others, the work they do is a labor of love, working with clients who become more like family.
“I’ve spent as little as four, up to 48 hours at a time… sometimes we might have to do sleep shifts,” he said. “We eat, we don’t sleep, but we do sleep shifts, but yea, that’s home away from home.”
But this kind of abuse isn’t uncommon. The Summit County Sheriff’s office has a full time investigator who works with the state on developmentally disabled abuse cases.
The three employees that were arrested and charged in this case no longer work for ViaQuest and a new home healthcare company has taken over that group home.