OGDEN — Prosecutors filed charges Friday against a group home employee they allege repeatedly abused a disabled patient, including slamming his head to the floor hard enough to cause a brain injury.
Ogden police arrested Spencer Keith Mendenhall, 19, on Wednesday after a psychological counselor reported Mendenhall, who was their patient, had told of abusing a resident of the group home.
In a police probable cause statement, officers said they interviewed Mendenhall and he admitted abusing the man.
“He stated that he would let the victim fall and he would grab the victim’s forehead and slam it on the floor,” the document said.
The abuse occurred at Chrysalis Home, 4933 S. 1500 West, Riverdale, between April 1 and Aug. 21, according to an indictment filed Friday by the Weber County Attorney’s Office.
Mendenhall faces charges of second-degree felony aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult and class A misdemeanor abuse of a vulnerable adult. His first court appearance is scheduled Friday morning.
Police said they were contacted by a Utah Adult Protective Services agent who had received a report from a therapist about a patient. The therapist said Mendenhall disclosed Monday that he had been hurting a patient.
The victim’s age was not disclosed.
The therapist said Mendenhall said he tripped the man, pinched his nose hard enough to cause a nose bleed, hit him in the stomach and slammed his head to the floor at least five times. He made the victim lie on his back on the floor even though he had a bad back, the therapist reported.
At some point, the man was treated at a local hospital for bleeding on the brain and later was transferred to a care center in Roy.
Police said a social worker at the Roy center said the victim does not speak, and has cerebral palsy, cognitive problems and a personality disorder.
Police said they interviewed employees of the Roy care center and the hospital about the man’s injuries. They said he had bruises around his left eye, both arms and legs and his anus and scrotum area.
Police said they asked Mendenhall about the latter injuries and he said it may have come from wiping during diaper changes.
“He said that he may had wiped too hard and he did it intentionally to cause pain,” the probable cause statement said.
According to police, Mendenhall told his therapist “he got set off from the victim clapping his hands and making finger gestures like a 1-year-old.”
Mendenhall remained in the Weber County Jail Friday in lieu of $11,950 bail. According to court records, he does not yet have an attorney of record.
Efforts to contact Ryan Friden, Chrysalis program director, were not immediately successful.
The Chrysalis website says the Orem-based company has 14 locations in Utah and Nevada with more than 2,000 employees.