Assault of elderly woman just the latest trouble for Seymour Housing Authority

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SEYMOUR - A distraught daughter is blaming a vicious attack against her 95-year-old mother on a state law that allows disabled residents, of all ages, to live with senior citizens in public housing.

“My mom sustained an open fracture of her right humerus and six fractures to the capsule of her shoulder,” said Gail Sokolnicki, whose mother also sustained three right hip fractures.

A female resident, who, according Sokolnicki, is at least 30 years younger, punched her mother in the head, causing her to fall. The victim’s best friend witnessed the assault.

“ She never did any harm to anybody,” said Joan Seaman, who has lived in Callahan House for nearly 18 years.

Seaman says the alleged attack was unprovoked. The victim, whose name is being protected by her daughter, turns 96 on Sunday.

“She really is an awesome lady,” said a teary-eyed Sokolnicki.

Seymour Police tells Fox CT that an arrest warrant is awaiting signatures of both a state’s attorney and a judge at Derby Superior Court. Meanwhile, the accused woman, in the midst of eviction proceedings, moved out of Callahan House last Sunday, according to several residents.

Last November, 97-year-old Nicholas Minuto, living in Smithfield Gardens, next door to Callahan House, was arrested for sexually assaulting a 91-year-old female resident. He still has not been evicted.

“We’re all worried. I mean, I’m 82. I’ve had some problems,” said William Rosa, whose live in Callahan House for 14 years.

The June 12 assault is taking its toll in different ways.

“I have a 5-year-old granddaughter and now I have an 8-month-old granddaughter and my daughter won’t bring my grandchildren to this building,” said a frustrated Cheryl Martin, who moved into Callahan house just over two years ago with her husband.

Despite witnessing the horror of her friend being assaulted, unprovoked, she says, Seaman is staying put.

“I get along with all the kids,” she said.

The Seymour Housing Authority says they take the safety and security of all residents as a matter of top priority.