A worker at a state-run group home in Centereach has been charged with a felony after he used a bedsheet to tie up a mentally and physically impaired female resident who weighed less than 50 pounds, according to a complaint released Wednesday.
Andrew Hatcher, 26, of Brooklyn, faces a charge of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, according to the complaint filed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Hatcher faces up to 4 years in prison if convicted.
At Hatcher’s arraignment Wednesday before Suffolk County District Judge Pierce F. Cohalan, no plea was entered, and he was freed on his own recognizance, a Schneiderman spokesman wrote in an email.
The defendant’s employer suspended him after the June 2013 alleged incident and Hatcher has not worked there for “some time,” the spokesman said. Hatcher’s attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.
The Brooklyn man’s alleged actions took place at the state-run Centereach Intermediate Care Facility where he worked as a support assistant, according to court papers.
On the morning of June 19, 2013, another worker at the facility entered the 59-year-old woman’s room and saw her on the bed, facing the middle of the room and wrapped in a blanket, the felony complaint said.
The worker removed the blanket from the patient, identified as L.R. in court papers, “and saw that she was kneeling on her bed while sitting back on her feet and that her bedsheet had been wrapped and looped around L.R.’s waist and then tied in a knot to the left leg of L.R.’s pajama pants that had been removed from her leg, causing L.R. to be restrained and unable to get out of bed,” the complaint said.
The skin on the woman’s feet appeared to be rubbed off, the worker told investigators, and there were red marks on the patient’s right leg that were not present the day before, and her diaper was soaked with urine, according to the complaint.
Hatcher endangered the woman “by not checking on her during the entirety of the night shift when he was the only one responsible for her care and she was supposed to be checked on every 15 minutes,” Schneiderman’s office said in a news release.
Hatcher admitted to state investigators that he had not checked on the woman or her roommate, and had falsely told another worker that he had checked on the victim twice, the complaint said.