2 more charged with abuse at mental health center
Two more staffers at a mental health facility in Livonia have been charged in connection with alleged abuse of patients, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said Friday.
The announcement brings the number of people charged to nine in connection with the alleged abuse of three patients at Livonia COPE (Community Outreach for Psychiatric Emergencies) in the 33500 block of Schoolcraft.
Delvan Johnson, 24, of Redford, and COPE project manager Beth Ellen Sharlow, 51, of Redford were arraigned Friday in 16th District Court.
Johnson is accused of physically assaulted three male patients, a 26-year-old from Redford, a 48-year old from Romulus and a 51-year-old from Dearborn Heights.
Sharlow, like a doctor and nurse charged in the case, is accused of failing to report abuse of three mental health patients. The alleged incident Sharlow is charged in connection with occurred between March 17-23 and involved the Romulus man.
Johnson was charged with an incident that allegedly occurred between March 9 and March 11 that involved the Dearborn Heights man.
The latest charges come a day after six people were arraigned Thursday in 16th District Court in connection with the allegations of abuse, which included accusations that the Romulus man was choked.
Another COPE employee, 30-year-old Kyle Jackson, of Oak Park, was arraigned Wednesday.
Appearing Thursday in 16th District Court were Thomas May, 59, of Westland, Demetris Hunt, 28, of Wayne, Wynton Dixon, 57, and Victor Peterson, 60, along with staff psychiatrist Dr. Hanumaiah Bandla, 65, of West Bloomfield Township, and nurse Erma Owens, 80, of Inkster.
Judge Kathleen McCann ordered personal bonds of $10,000 for Bandla and Owens, both of whom are charged with failure to report abuse of a mental health recipient. If convicted, they could receive 90 days in jail and $500 for the misdemeanor offense.
May was given a $10,000 personal bond on the charges of third-degree abuse of a vulnerable person and assault and battery.
Dixon received a $10,000, 10 percent bond. He is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm by strangulation, third-degree abuse of a vulnerable person and assault and battery as well as failure to report abuse of a mental health recipient.
Hunt was charged with third degree abuse of a vulnerable person, assault and battery and failure to report abuse of a mental health recipient.
Victor Peterson, 60, , was charged in connection with the abuse of two patients. He was charged with third-degree vulnerable adult abuse and assault and battery. He was given a $10,000, 10 percent bond.
Jackson is charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm by strangulation and third-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy called the alleged abuse "shocking."
COPE is operated by Hegira Programs Inc. Ed Forry, the president and CEO of Hegira, said Wednesday in a statement his organization has a "zero-tolerance" policy toward abuse.
"Recently, unfortunate incidents occurred at one of our facilities, which led to an investigation that revealed an extreme violation of our standards of care. The individuals in question were terminated as soon as we learned of the incidents in question, and we are fully cooperating with police as their investigation progresses."