NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - An attorney representing a respite facility at the center of several alleged incidents of physical abuse in May said it acted quickly to notify the proper authorities.
Five people - including four from New Brunswick - who worked at the Broadway Respite and Home Care facility are facing charges after police say two severely disabled individuals were physically abused at the facility.
A grand jury returned an indictment Nov. 12, charging the facility on Edgeboro Road in East Brunswick with two counts of abandonment and neglect of a disabled person, and two counts of endangering another person for conduct involving two different victims, according to a press release issued by Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Christopher L.C. Kuberiet.
Five employees of the facility, Asia Lunn, 22, Kenitra Hicks, 34, Kieasha Morgan 24, Hugo Lorenzo, 25, all of New Brunswick and Janella Allen, 31, of Elizabeth were indicted on two counts of abandonment and neglect of a disabled person and two counts of endangering another person, for two separate victims, both third-degree crimes.
Lunn was also indicted on one count of aggravated assault in the third degree.
Police said that in May, two severely disabled individuals who attended the adult day care were physically abused by employees of Broadway Respite and Home Care. The indictment alleges the facility failed to act to protect the physical or mental health of the two disabled adult victims.
According to a statement provided to TAPinto New Brunswick by Todd Harrison of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, a firm representing Broadway Respite and Home Care, the incidents occurred on the same day involving two adults attending the facility.
"Immediately upon learning about the incidents, the company took action – they reported to the police, they notified the relevant state agencies in New Jersey, they immediately put the relevant individuals on leave and commenced an internal investigation to determine the extent of the wrongdoing, which resulted in the termination of all the employees named in the indictment," Harrison said.
"The company also complied with all appropriate regulations in the hiring of these employees, including background checks. The company was surprised and disappointed that these charges have been filed against it. This a good company with an exceptional, long-standing track record, which provides an incredibly valuable service to its community. It will continue to care for its patients with the utmost care."
The defendants were charged as a result of an investigation by Detective Crispin Farrace of the East Brunswick Police Department and Detective Olivia Ankudowicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.