An Elmont man has been charged with abusing three developmentally disabled men in his care at a facility run by a Queens Village nonprofit, state officials said Monday.
Dandy Theodore, 29, is accused of punching the three men in August at an undisclosed rehabilitation facility, according to a statement from the state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.
The victims were evaluated at Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, but did not sustain any “visible injuries,” said Justice Center spokeswoman Diane Ward Monday in an email.
The upstate-based Justice Center serves as a state law enforcement agency and an advocate for people with special needs, according to its website.
Theodore was arraigned April 15 in First District Court in Hempstead before Judge William Hohauser, according to the center’s statement.
He was charged with multiple counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, three counts of third-degree attempted assault, three counts of third-degree menacing and three counts of second-degree harassment, the Justice Center said.
Theodore pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court April 26, officials said.
His attorney, Barry Agulnick said Monday night that Theodore “denies all of the allegations and will fight the charges all the way.”
Agulnick said the victims’ lack of injuries should “cast doubt” on the prosecution’s account.
Officials with the rehabilitation center fired Theodore, the justice center said.
The facility where Theodore worked is operated by IRI, a Queens Village-based nonprofit that provides resources for people with developmental disabilities.
“Individuals receiving services deserve to feel safe and be treated with dignity and respect,” Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning said in a statement. “The Justice Center and the District Attorneys of this state will prosecute staff, like this defendant who abuse the people who they have been entrusted to care for.”