UPDATE: Chattanooga caretaker charged with beating patient with belt
A caretaker at a home for disabled people in Tennessee has been accused of beating a patient with a leather belt.
UPDATE: Channel 3 is learning more about caretakers who are hired to take care of those living with developmental and intellectual disabilities and how allegations of abuse are handled.
This comes after Tyler Evans, a caregiver with Community Options, Inc., was arrested over the weekend, accused of hitting a patient with a leather belt.
Sometimes an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation will spark two investigations: A criminal investigation handled by police and an administrative investigation that is handled by the state.
Court documents show Community Options, Inc. employed caregivers to provide services for patients living at the home on Igou Gap Road around the clock.
One of those caregivers, Evans, is accused of beating a patient, who is unable to speak, with a leather belt in January.
A spokesperson with Tennessee's Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities tells Channel 3 they contract with private providers, like Community Options, to provide services in the state.
"When there is an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation we require our providers and our employees to report that to DIDD and in the case of abuse, within 4 hours," Cara Kumari, Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities said.
After a report of abuse, neglect or exploitation is made, an investigation is then opened to see if the allegation actually occurred.
"We may instruct them to that they also need to call law enforcement and adult protective services as well, but we do expect our contracted providers to notify us," Kumari added.
Hamilton County court records show Evans was arrested once before this incident, in 2011, for possessing a controlled substance.
A representative of Community Options, Inc. would not tell Channel 3 if Evans is still working inside the home where the alleged abuse took place but did give us this statement:
"All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory results of a thorough background check. This consists of an extensive criminal background check including various state and federal registries, employer and personal references and driving history. In addition, employees are subject to random and reasonable suspicion drug testing. The agency complies with federal, state and local laws when obtaining background checks and follows the regulations set forth by Tennessee's Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities and any other applicable funding source contracts." - Courtney Eidel, Chief Human Resources Officer at Community Options, Inc.
"We will work with law enforcement and any of our state agency partners to ensure if that occurred people supported in our service delivery system are kept safe and that person who committed that act is brought to justice," Kumari added.
If an allegation is found to be true, the employee could end up on Tennessee's Abuse Registry.
Channel 3 called Evans Tuesday to get his side of the story.
The person who answered hung up on the reporter.
When they called again, they left a message. That message has not been returned.
Evans will appear before a judge on June 5th.
PREVIOUS STORY: CHATTANOOGA (AP) - A caretaker at a home for disabled people in Tennessee has been accused of beating a patient with a leather belt.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports 29-year-old Tyler Evans was arrested over the weekend. Court records say Evans is accused of beating a patient because the patient "would not calm down" after Evans wouldn't let him have a soda.
He is charged with exploitation of an adult.
Evans works at a home for people with developmental disabilities in Chattanooga. It wasn't clear whether he is represented by an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com
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