ORLANDO, Fla. - Workers at an Orlando group home for autistic women are being investigated after Channel 9 obtained video showing a young woman in the home being dragged by her hair, shoved and hit by a show thrown at her.
The video was recorded in October on a cellphone, which was found by a stranger. The stranger called WFTV after watching it.
The video shows a 22-year-old woman sitting on a couch. A worker is recording the video as other employees laugh and taunt the woman, who is clearly agitated.
The woman throws her shoes, but a worker picks one up and throws it back at her numerous times.
Another caretaker walks past and yanks the woman down by her hair.
The Orlando home is owned and operated by Behavioral Support Services in Altamonte Springs.
“It goes beyond the scale of any possible course of conduct,” said BSS Director Peter Perley. “It makes me more than sick to my stomach. It makes me very angry. It’s like watching an ISIS video—and that’s a pretty strong quote.”
Channel 9's Shannon Butler took the video to the group home director and called state officials.
The state agency that oversees the facility said it was unaware of the incident, but Butler found that the facility's Medicaid funding was pulled Wednesday because of other issues.
"We have a standard of care, and they are not meeting the standards," a spokesperson from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities said. "They are no longer providing services to our customers."
The agency is now investigating the incidents captured on the cellphone video.
Channel 9 spoke to a former manager at the center, who did not want to be identified.
He was recently let go for unexplained reasons.
“I know that woman. She didn’t deserve that,” he said.
He said he worked for the company for 10 years and doesn’t recall anything like that going on his watch.
“Yes it abuse. It's plain as day abuse. You don't do that. It's against the law,” he said.
Employees from the home are being called to the office in Altamonte Springs, where the director will show them the video and let them know that they are under investigation, Butler learned.
A worker said the women have been moved to another home in Winter Springs.