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Police: Caregiver Arrested after Video Surfaces of Her Allegedly Beating Disabled Man in Columbia

A video shows a woman, identified as Everett, beating a man at a group home for disabled individuals in Columbia.


Howard County police have arrested a Randallstown woman whom they say is shown in a YouTube video beating and spitting in the face of an intellectually disabled man at a Columbia group home where she works.

Donna Everett, 57, was arrested by police after the group home's owner, Emerge Inc., identified her in the video. She was working as a house manager, according to police. The home is located in the 6500 block of Quiliting Way in Columbia.

In the video, a woman can be seen swinging both of her fists down on the sitting man's head, after bending over and spitting in his face. She also encourages and taunts a 41-year-old disabled woman and resident of the group home to assault the man, according to police.

Police charged Everett with mutiple counts of assault and reckless endangerment in the abuse of the 53-year-old man and the woman.

The video, which was on YouTube as of 1:30 p.m. on Monday, starts with a confrontation between the disabled man and disabled woman, with the woman striking the man several times.

In the background, the person recording the video can be heard laughing.

At one point, someone in the background asks, "You're recording this for entertainment right?" The response was unclear and the person asks again, "So what, when you're pissed you can just watch it for entertainment and start laughing all over again?"

The video recorder laughs loudly.

Then, a woman identified as Everett enters the frame around the 5-minute mark, and it appears as if the man spits at her, to which she responds by spitting in his face. The man then strikes at the woman, catching her in the face, and she responds by hitting him multiple times with her fists.

Then, she backs away and watches as the disabled woman strikes the man over and over again.

Police said they are trying to determine the identities of the people involved in making the video.

Everett posted a $100,000 bond and was released from the Howard County Detention Center, according to police.

The video's poster, TheDivineMsP, wrote in the video's description, "Staff is supposed to take care of Intellectually Disabled people instead they are verbally and physically abusing them. In this video a house manager is abusing a male client and making another female client abuse that same male client."

"This is the most repulsive thing I've experienced in my life," said David Wamsley, executive director of Emerge. "We train our employees to be hands off, restraint free so there's never a possibility where someone should be touched. This is a complete violation of our principles.

"We are doing everything we can to help the victim," said Wamsley, "and we are cooperating fully with the police."

Wamsley said the man in the video did not suffer any significant injuries as a result of the abuse. He said he has no evidence that a culture of this type of behavior exists at Emerge and believes this is an isolated incident.

"We are sorry, shocked and appaled," said Wamsley.

He said the company would be reviewing all of its policies and will work with police to determine if any other employees were involved in the incident.

Emerge provides supported living, residential, day, pre-employment, and employment services to over 450 individuals in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's counties, according to the company's website.

Penelope Patch February 05, 2013 at 03:45 AM
As a mother of a child with disabilities, now grown, and residing in a group home, I am sick to my stomach to have seen this on TV and now reading about it. As a parent of a loved one with disabilities, we do the best we can to raise our child, only to have to put them in a home when they get too difficult to handle on our own with very little support. It's heartbreaking because the people that need these services are some of our most vulnerable citizens and yet they are subjected to such abuse and neglect. Keep in mind that there are also more subtle kinds of emotional harm that might not get the attention of an on-line video. The staff in some of the group homes don't always welcome family involvement...I wonder why. Maryland should be ashamed of itself for how little it includes in the rates it sets for group homes and how little oversight there is in reality. Disgusting if you ask me and every single legislator in every county should be asking questions of DDA.
Polly February 06, 2013 at 12:57 PM
As a human being, I am sick to my stomach as well. There is NO acceptable excuse for this type of treatment of those that are defenseless at all ages. This is just the tip of the iceberg I'm sure, as generally this type of abuse is never recorded much less reported. If something like that ever happened to a loved one of mine the abuser would be in fear of me.


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