Group home workers accused of choking, striking disabled teen patient

Two Connecticut group home workers were arrested this week for allegedly choking and striking a disabled 19-year-old with a mop and broom.

The victim’s mother reported the January 12 incident to the state Department of Developmental Services after noticing bruising on her daughter. Video footage from the Hamden group home showed Victoria Dancy, 50, and Melissa Smith, 41, choking, restraining, and hitting the teen with cleaning equipment, according to the Hartford Courant.

“The video further depicts Dancy and Smith striking the victim with a broom and a mop handle. Later in the video, Dancy is observed choking the victim, while she was lying on her back,” police Capt. Ronald Smith said in a statement obtained by the Hamden Patch. “The video further shows Dancy striking the victim with the mop handle, while she was lying on the floor.”

Dancy (pictured left) was arrested Thursday and charged with assault of a disabled person, second-degree strangulation, cruelty to persons, second-degree reckless endangerment, and disorderly conduct.

Smith (pictured right) was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, cruelty to persons, assault of a disabled person, and disorderly conduct.

Dancy was released after posting bond. Smith remains detained on $25,000 bond. Smith and Dancy iare scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Meriden on April 20.

ARC of Meriden-Wallingford, who runs the Hamden group home, says their mission is to “assist and advocate for children and adults with developmental disabilities to reach their full potential and become contributing members of their community,” according to their website.

[Featured Image: Hamden Police]