Group Home Director Responds to Alleged Abuse Filmed, Condemns Suspect’s Actions
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Fox 10 News is getting answers after uncovering a disturbing video of alleged abuse at a Mobile County group home.
Investigators say Jamar Harris used a belt to hit a patient who has serious intellectual problems.
Now, the Philadelphia House manager is responding to those allegations.
John Robinson calling Harris “heartless”.
“To be as bold as you would want to just go ahead and do something like that knowing you’re on camera, it just takes a very heartless person,” Robinson said.
In the disturbing video, it shows Harris allegedly repeatedly hitting a woman in her 30s with a belt, who is seriously mentally ill.
Harris was charged with abuse and neglect.
Robinson says that since he’s been in business, nothing like this has ever happened.
“I was just more appalled that this person would do this knowing he was doing it in front of other staff members,” Robinson said.
In the video, you see another staff member walking around the corner and then turning around.
To avoid behavior like this, Robinson says everyone who works there must pass a background check.
But according to court documents, last year Harris was accused of cutting her boyfriend with a shard of broken glass.
Robinson says he was unaware of Harris’ arrest.
“No, we only found out about it last night when we heard it on the news,” Robinson said.
While this situation has cast a bad light on the group home, Robinson says he won’t let the actions of one person tarnish his thirty-year-old reputation.
“It’s one of those things that happened and it’s very unfortunate. We feel really bad for the individual, of course, but as far as the reputation of the House of Philadelphia goes, it’s been a blow for us,” Robinson said. “We’re not proud of that and we certainly don’t want to be known as an establishment that tolerates abuse.”
According to prison records, Harris is scheduled to appear Thursday morning for a bail hearing.
The chief assistant district attorney says they won’t be asking for any bail.
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