Video shows Mount Dora caretakers beating patient

4 women arrested, fired from facility

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist, Brianna Volz - Web producer

MOUNT DORA, Fla. - The city of Mount Dora has released surveillance video from inside a group home where police say four caretakers are accused of beating a patient who has mental disabilities.

Mount Dora police said employees at Attain Inc. told authorities the woman caused her own injuries during an episode on Aug. 13, and her behavior while officers were at the facility was erratic and consistent with what employees reported.

However, video released by the city Monday shows how the victim was injured. Officials with the Department of Children and Families responded to the offices of Attain Inc., along with Mount Dora Police officers, on Aug.15 where they reviewed the video that led to charges against all four caretakers.

The video begins with Sheneka Hester shoving the patient, causing her to skin her left knee, police said. Once the situation escalates, Jaleyah Wiggins is seen pushing and shoving her to the floor, officers said. Police said Carolyn Joe could be seen shoving the woman twice, once causing her to land on a couch.

A different view shows the victim on the ground with all four women around her. According to the report, Joe put one of her feet on the woman's head and, at one point, puts all her weight on that foot.

Officers said this "could have easily caused great bodily harm or even death," according to a news release.

Berneisha Blunt hit the patient with a closed fist several times, police said. 

At the end of one video, the visibly disheveled victim crawls on her hands and knees to the bedroom door before slamming the door.

On Aug.19, detectives obtained arrest warrants for Joe, Blunt, Wiggins and Hester on charges of aggravated abuse of a disabled adult.

Mount Dora public information officer Lisa McDonald said all four women turned themselves in and were booked into the Lake County Jail. All four women were fired from the facility following the investigation.

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