ENID, Okla. (KFOR) — Court documents detailed the abuse of clients at the Robert M. Greer Center, an Enid facility that cares for people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness.
“I would go as far as to call the people who did this evil,” said Detective Bruno with Enid Police Department.
Enid police said they were alerted to the allegations of mistreatment by a former employee.
Court documents obtained by News 4 show the investigation into these abuse allegations began in June after a former employee said they had concerns and that this had been ongoing for a year.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services investigated caretaker Martinez but said staff at the Greer Center wouldn’t cooperate, so the case didn’t move forward.
“We had a person who is a former employee of the group center come in and tell us some details about what happened,” said Bruno.
That former employee had some concerning details about what was going on inside the center.
“We were told that there was a group of employees who were going around and abusing certain clients and that it was being ignored by the administration out there,” said Bruno
Police have named three suspects, 21-year-old Jonathan Martinez, and 24-year-old John Nieto have been arrested, but 28-year-old Jonathan Orozco is still on the loose.
“There’s no furniture inside the house, and so it looks like he’s most likely fled or gone somewhere else to avoid prosecution,” said Bruno
Court documents reveal one of their victims has the “mentality of a 4-year-old”.
The suspects are accused of taking bed sheets or wet towels and choking him until he passed out.
The men would then strike his chest and stomach until he woke up.
Oklahoma Senator Paul Rosino said he doesn’t take these allegations lightly.
“I was shaken by it,” said Rosino. “We take this very seriously.”
The Oklahoma Department Of Human Services sent News 4 a statement saying,
“The allegations against personnel at the Robert M. Greer Center are heinous, especially in light of the vulnerable population being housed at the facility. Immediately upon learning of the allegations, Oklahoma Human Services began cooperating with law enforcement and has maintained regular contact with them since the early stages of the investigation. Additionally, we are halting any new admissions and have reached out to the operators of the Greer Center to ensure appropriate steps are being taken to cooperate in any investigation and, more importantly, ensure the ongoing safety of all residents under the facility’s care.
Oklahoma Human Services is committed to a complete investigation of this facility, the remaining staff and its management, including continued efforts with law enforcement. We are taking steps to ensure each resident’s loved ones are aware of this situation.”
Lawmakers promising the maltreatment of vulnerable Oklahomans will not be tolerated.
“We need to really hold the provider accountable if this comes to be true, what they have not done or what they need to be doing to make sure that this never happens again,” added Rosino.
News 4 reached out to Liberty Healthcare, which operates the facility on behalf of the state. Liberty sent News 4 a statement shortly after the story aired Thursday evening.
“We are deeply disturbed by the reports of abuse and consider such behavior to be wholly inappropriate and unacceptable. In our 23-year history of managing this facility, we have never encountered a similar situation. We will fully cooperate and support local and state officials as they investigate this matter.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing and they expect to pursue more charges against the suspects.
Police are also urging anyone who knows where Orozco is to call 580-242-7000 or text 847411 and enter the keyword, “EPDTIP.”
Those with information on the alleged abuse at the Greer Center are asked to call the police as well.