Disabled woman locked up for 12 hours by guard, cops say
A woman was spotted climbing out of a distressed bedroom window last year, leading authorities in North Carolina to arrest and charge her two caregivers, according to media reports.
Winston-Salem police were alerted to a domestic disturbance in a suburban neighborhood on January 29, 2021 according to the Hickory Daily Record, a local newspaper. When they arrived, they saw a disabled woman hanging from a bedroom window and screaming for help.
The woman lived in the home and was cared for by a woman whose brother appeared to be replacing her at the time of the incident, according to News19.
After an investigation, police determined that the siblings left the 30-year-old victim “in a locked room for over 12 hours without supervision or necessities of life,” according to Fox8.
Winston-Salem police did not immediately respond to a McClatchy News request for comment, and an attorney representing the siblings could not be reached by McClatchy News.
The carer is charged with gross negligence, resulting in “mental injury” to the woman, according to a warrant obtained by the Winston-Salem Journal. She was charged with two counts of domestic violence/neglect/exploitation of a disabled adult, while her brother was charged with a single count of the same charge, according to Fox8. They first appeared in court on October 10.
The carer told the Winston-Salem Journal that the charges against her were false and did not comment further. Her brother declined to comment.
According to the Department of Justice, people with disabilities are often subject to disproportionate levels of abuse and neglect. Between 2017 and 2019, the rate of violent victimization against people with disabilities in the United States was nearly four times that of people without disabilities.
This story was originally published October 14, 2022 7:00 p.m.