ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – Three more staff members at the Greer Center in Enid, Oklahoma, will face felony charges for reportedly abusing patients at the facility. The center cares for patients with intellectual disabilities and mental illness.
Court records filed late Friday show Gavin Foster, Edward Webster and Adlai Flores face abuse by caretaker and conspiracy charges.
A total of six employees now face felony charges in the case.
“It’s horrible,” said Enid Police detective, Francis Bruno, who said many of the patients at the center are unable to communicate or speak out against the abuse. “This is probably among the worst things that I’ve had to work.”
Court documents detailed the alleged abuse.
In an affidavit, one patient told investigators with DHS that he was beaten on a regular basis by another patient who was routinely bribed by staff members with food brought in from outside the facility.
The same victim stated in court records that Flores and Foster would repeatedly choke and punch him.
Enid police shared disturbing pictures with News 4 of bruising on a patient’s stomach. That victim stated in court records that he reported the abusive staff members to the center’s manager, but the complaints went ignored.
“I don’t know that I can state the level of seriousness,” said Joy Turner, Director of Investigations for the Oklahoma Disability Law Center. “It’s beyond imaginable.”
Turner said Oklahoma Disability Law Center had launched an investigation into the abuse claims last week before the new charges were filed.
“The state is going to have to take action,” said Turner. “They’re going to have to take immediate action to do whatever is necessary to assure that the people there are safe and that this cannot happen again.”
News 4 reached out to Liberty Healthcare, which manages the state-run facility, on behalf of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
“We are deeply disturbed by the reports of abuse and consider such behavior to be wholly inappropriate and unacceptable. In Liberty of Oklahoma Corporation’s 23-year history of managing this facility, we have never encountered a similar situation. Liberty of Oklahoma Corporation will fully cooperate and support local and state officials as they investigate this matter.”
– Sue Nayda, Chief Operating Officer of Liberty of Oklahoma Corporation
Investigators said more charges could be coming in the near future.