In a bid to escape a rehabilitation clinic where employees allegedly beat him, Peter Price felt he had no choice but to swallow five fish hooks and 22 AA batteries, just so he could speed up his release from the facility.
Sadly, Price is just one of many patients healing from brain injuries who suffered abuse at the hands of the Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, according to results of an investigation by Bloomberg’s David Armstrong that were published Tuesday.
The 196-bed facility located about 50 miles southeast of Tampa, which has operated for profit since 1992, allegedly only treats patients who can afford its pricey services, with bills often reaching about $1,850 per day. Facility representatives refused to comment on the Bloomberg story and would not let Bloomberg reporters tour the rehabilitation centre, and they were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.
Janet Clark, a former prison guard who stayed at FINR from 2006 to 2007 following a car crash, detailed the alleged abuse she suffered to Bloomberg.
“One time they had me down and one of the staff kicked me in the eye with a boot,” Clark, 55, told Bloomberg. “They were saying shut up, screaming at me. I was hurting so much I couldn’t stop. It was terrifying.”
Patients’ families or state agencies have claimed abuse at the facility is responsible for at least five residents’ deaths since 1998. More recently, two FINR staffers have been charged by Hardee County prosecutors with abusing Danny Silva, an autistic patient at the facility, Bloomberg reported.
The men, LaKevin Johnson and Landrey Johnson, have pleaded not guilty.
A third employee McKinley “Jerome” Scott is facing a charge of abusing a disabled person after a security camera allegedly caught him hurting autistic patient Gabriel Allen. Scott has also pleaded not guilty.
Perhaps the most heart wrenching parts of Bloomberg’s investigation were the video testimonials patients recorded about their abuse.
Here, Clark and Kenneth Aulph, another former patient, describe the abuse they allegedly suffered while at the facility, courtesy of Bloomberg:
Here, a FINR staff member is caught on camera allegedly pulling a patient off the couch and forcing him into a ball on the floor, courtesy of Bloomberg:
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