Defendant Allegedly Neglected Two Disabled Residents Under His Care, Tying One Up In Her Bed.
New York, NY - May 16, 2017 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Andrew Hatcher, of Ridge, New York, a former Direct Support Assistant was arraigned on an indictment charging the defendant with endangering the welfare of two developmentally disabled residents under his care at a state-run group home—Centereach Intermediate Care Facility. Hatcher, 28, was arraigned before Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice John B. Collins in Riverhead and, if convicted, will face up to one and one-third to four years in state prison.
“When a New Yorker requires the help of a group home caregiver, they expect the health care professional to act as such,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “At the very least they expect to be treated with dignity and respect—that’s a human right. My office has zero tolerance for those who trample upon that right, and we’ll continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those individuals who prey upon our vulnerable and defenseless citizens.”
The indictment charges Hatcher with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E Felony. According to the indictment, Hatcher, knowing that he was the only caregiver on the night shift responsible for two severely physically impaired and intellectually disabled residents, failed to care for them and failed to perform required 15-minute bed checks to ensure their safety.
In addition, Hatcher allegedly tied one of the residents up in her bed. The resident—a 59-year-old woman diagnosed with profound intellectual and developmental disabilities—was found the next morning, tied up in her bed, soaked in urine and having suffered injuries to the skin on her feet and right leg.
Attorney General Schneiderman would like to thank the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) for its assistance in conducting the investigation.
The investigation was conducted by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Special Investigator Stephen Clarke with assistance from Supervising Special Investigator Greg Muroff and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Megan Gallagher and Veronica Bindrim-MacDevitt with the assistance of Regional Director Jane Zwirn-Turkin. Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney.
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.