Group home worker accused of injuring special needs man

KXAN File Photo

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A worker for a group home in South Austin is accused of injuring a man with special needs while on duty.

Allen Thomas, 23, is facing charges for injury to a disabled person, which is a second degree felony. According to the affidavit, on Aug. 22 the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Adult Protective Services received a report of physical abuse by a Draco Services Inc. employee at the home on Roehampton Drive.

The affidavit described the man’s injuries as two black eyes, sinus fractures, orbital floor fracture and pain to his ribs. Doctors say the trauma to his face is associated with blunt force.

On Aug. 21, the resident told the house manager that Thomas had hit him. The manager, who was off-duty that day, confronted Thomas who denied the resident’s claims saying he slipped in the shower. Thomas told the manager that he was looking for his cell-phone that day and believed the resident had taken it.

The manager said he noticed the resident’s room “tore up” with stuff scattered everywhere. Thomas admitted to searching the resident’s room for his phone, but could not find it.

The resident eventually admitted to the manager that he threw Thomas’ phone over the fence because the worker was watching TV instead of caring for him. Thomas later retrieved his phone from the neighbors.

The next day, the affidavit states, the manager noticed bruising and swelling to the resident’s face. In a police interview Thomas said the resident had tried to escape that day and fell down in the process. He claimed to have not told the manager about the fall because he “knew that [he] would have to talk to an investigator.”

Thomas’ bond will be set at $15,000 and he will be required to stay at least 200 yards from the group home resident.