Disabled Bronx Man Branded With Potato Masher

Published on May 20, 2013, 2:56 pm
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A lawsuit is being filed in the case of a severely autistic man who was allegedly burned and branded with a potato masher at a group home in Bronx.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mayra Sandoval, whose son – Eduard Sandoval, 24 – was allegedly harmed by staffers who were supposed to be taking care of him. Mayra Sandoval was inconsolable as she discussed the lawsuit Monday.

He was allegedly branded with a hot potato masher by at least one staffer at the Leake & Watts residential facility last June, but due to his reduced mental capacity, Sandoval is unable to identify the person who attacked him.

It was last June when Mayra Sandoval visited her son at the home. He was extremely irritable, but because of his autism, he was unable to speak.

After the incident, Leake & Watts said the state recommended a plan of remedial action which was implemented. It included the firing of two employees, who are named in the lawsuit, and the manager of the facility.

The employees, Wendell Chavies and Asialone Edwards, were originally charged with assault. But the charges were dropped because of a lack of evidence.

“We took full and decisive action in terminating the employment of the staff who we believed were involved with or failed to immediately report the incident, as well as the manager of the home,” Leake & Watts said in a statement. “We initiated additional training and systems to ensure the safety and well-being of the people in our care.”

Attoreny Rubenstein is filing the lawsuit accusing the facility, Chavies and Edwards of recklessness and negligence on Monday in Bronx Supreme Court.

The New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities is also investigating the case.

Meanwhile, Eduardo Sandoval continues to live at the same group home until his family can find another permanent facility. His mother said her only comfort is knowing that the people accused in this case have been fired.

Leake & Watts is also being sued by the family of a 16-year-old boy, Corey Foster, who died in their care in 2012. Foster went into cardiac arrest when a staffer put him in a restrictive hold.


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