Recently, the Inquisitr reported on an incident at J. Iverson Riddle Development Center in Morganton, North Carolina, being investigated by state officials. On Wednesday, the News Herald produced an update about certain details of the investigation and allegations against the eight employees accused of operating what is being called a “fight club” at Elm Cottage. According to one representative and guardian, a resident inside the center was trained to strike out at people on command by staff members inside the cottage.
The state may not be talking about the allegations in total, but details are beginning to leak out concerning the events which allegedly took place inside Elm Cottage. According to the representative, the individual instructed by staff to hit upon command was a nonverbal person with severe autism. What’s more, it was also stated that staff members have been accused of twisting wet towels and slapping at the walls and residents with them.
Senior attorney Kristine Sullivan has said that Disability Rights North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that advocates for those living with disabilities in the state of North Carolina, is heading the investigation of those allegations. Sullivan did not confirm as to whether any of the staff members being accused have been charged with anything just yet.
Carolyn Johnson, a sister to one of the male residents who resides in Elm Cottage, stated that an advocate for J. Iverson Riddle contacted her early Wednesday morning wishing to assure her that there was indeed no fight club. They instead informed Johnson that employees had been only scaring and intimidating the residents.
“Not really hitting the residents, but kind of picking at them. I would call it picking, scaring them — making loud noises to scare or intimidate them.”
Johnson’s brother, she said to reporters, had been found in a bathroom inside Elm Cottage approximately a month ago. He had been bleeding and had a tooth either loosened or knocked out. According to the advocate who phoned Johnson, her brother’s injuries were in fact not being investigated as part of the “fight club” investigation. The advocate also told Johnson that NCDHHS will call her and other relatives of the resident if charges are filed, as J. Iverson Riddle advocates have since concluded their own investigation and handed it over to NCDHHS.
Carolyn Johnson stated to reporters that she feels confident that officials are doing the “best they can.”
“I’m praying that charges will come about with the employees that they terminated.”
Representatives are not providing the names of staff members who were involved.