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Two group home workers arrested, accused of assaulting a disabled patient

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HAMDEN — Hamden Police say they’ve arrested two “direct support staff members” at a group home after a report of abuse on a 19-year-old client.

The investigation started on January 12th, when the Director of Residence Services for the ARC of Meriden and Wallingford met with Hamden Police regarding the incident which left the client with injuries.

An investigation revealed that bruising was noticed by the victim’s mother. The mother then contacted the Department of Developmental Services, and an investigation immediately went underway.

Hamden police viewed video footage from the group home. It showed the staff members Victoria Dancy, 50, of New haven, and Melissa Smith, 21, of Stratford, attempting to restrain the victim. The video went on to show Dancy and Smith striking the victim with  broom and mop handle. Later on in the video, Dance is seen choking the victim while she was lying on her back, and Dancy striking the victim with a mop handle while she was laying on the floor.

Hamden police arrested Dancy and Smith with a laundry list of charges, including: Cruelty to Persons, Assault of a Disabled Person, Reckless Endangerment, and Strangulation.

Dancy was released on bond, Smith was detained on $25,000 bond, and both are scheduled to appear in Meriden court April 20th.

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