Police: Maryhaven worker assaulted disabled student
Police arrested a Maryhaven Center of Hope employee for allegedly assaulting one of his mentally disabled students.
Suffolk police say 21-year-old Christian Clinton sent a student to the hospital with head injuries, an incident the school, which works with children and adults with disabilities, reported to authorities.
Celeste Hessler, whose son Evan lives at the school, says she is surprised to hear about the arrest, but adds it?s difficult to deal with people with special needs.
?Maybe he wasn't prepared for dealing with disabled adults, because they can be unpredictable,? she says.
Hessler, of Shirley, says some kids can get rough at the school, but the center has procedures in place to counter when that happens.
?[They have] take-down procedures, where they wrap them, sometimes it has to be two or three people involved in just calming them down,? she says.
No one answered the door at Clinton's home off of Van Brunt Avenue in Selden, but his neighbors were surprised by the allegations.
?Anybody that would do that to a disabled or homeless person that can?t help themselves ? that is a bad thing,? says Dennis Ferro, of Selden.
Despite the arrest, Hessler?s opinion about Maryhaven hasn?t changed.
?He's had many counselors, they are usually very good with him,? she says. ?There's never been any problem so maybe it?s an isolated incident because they're wonderful here.?