PD: Special needs patients assaulted and waterboarded by Mesa caregiver

MESA, AZ - A man was arrested for waterboarding an adult special-needs patient and bruising the genitals of a child special-needs patient. 

Chandler Police report that on Tuesday they arrested 22-year-old Desmond Keelan Washington at his home in Phoenix. 

On December 16, police say Washington was working as a caregiver at a home for special needs juveniles. Washington was giving a bath to a boy when another caregiver reportedly heard a slapping sound and heard Washington say, "You don't like when I do that to you." 

The witness later noticed the victim was bruised in his pelvic area. Washington would tell investigators that the child slipped on a puddle of water. 

Nurses documented scratches and bruising on the boy’s abdomen and genitals. 

As police investigated, they reportedly found another incident in Mesa involving Washington. 

On December 13, he was working for a group home for vulnerable adults in Mesa, when he and another caregiver were giving a shower to a 30-year-old man who can't speak, due to his diminished mental capacity. 

The victim was reportedly acting aggressively, and Washington pushed the victim’s head into the shower wall, telling the Victim "to stop hitting his head on the shower wall." 

He then allegedly held the man by the neck as he "aimed the handicap shower head directly into the victim’s face, causing him to struggle for oxygen." 

Later, as he and the other caregiver were drying the victim off, the victim head-butted Washington. 

He then reportedly told the other caregiver that, "He was about to really rough him up." 

He allegedly wrapped a towel around his hand and punched the victim repeatedly in the stomach and face, giving him a black eye and a busted lip. 

Police say Washington and the other caregiver falsified the accident injury report, saying the victim injured himself. 

After a week, the other caregiver came forward to management with the truth, saying he didn’t come forward sooner because he was afraid of Washington. 

Washington was arrested on three counts of child and vulnerable adult abuse.

Guild Care Group released the following statement regarding the incident:

At Guild Care Group there is no greater priority than the safety and well-being of our Members. Upon learning of alleged misconduct by one of our employees last December, we immediately took action, including contacting the State's regulatory agencies responsible for investigating reported incidents of misconduct. Guild Care Group cooperated in every stage of the investigations conducted by such agencies and law enforcement. All Guild Care Group employees are subject to rigorous pre-employment screening and continued monitoring and oversight throughout their employment. At Guild Care Group, we do not tolerate any acts of misconduct. While we are certain that this was an unforeseeable and isolated incident, we too are deeply impacted and we thank Mesa PD for its swift and thorough handling of this matter.   

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