Calif. Caregivers Caught On Hidden Camera Abusing Autistic Man [VIDEO]

Kathy ColemanWith monitoring software, productivity sensors, and cameras, bosses are increasingly spying on their workers. Sometimes this can create stress and distrust, without much benefit. But other times, it can uncover horrific wrongdoing.

Last year, Kathy Coleman (pictured right) and her husband decided that their age prevented them from providing their 31-year-old son, Cameron, with the care he needed, reports KCBS-TV, so they hired Jay Nolan Community Services to find their son a home and provide around-the-clock care. But last summer, Kathy started noticing bruises on her son's body and that he seemed frightened of his caregivers. So she decided to install hidden cameras in his Los Angeles home. The footage she uncovered would devastate any mother, purportedly showing her son's caregivers beating, taunting and spitting on him.

The Colemans have filed a civil suit against Jay Nolan Community Services, the company that they hired to provide in-home care for their son. Cameron reportedly has a form of nonverbal autism and the mental capacity of a 3-year-old. Her attorney, Steve Gambardella, called the abuse in the footage "tantamount to torture."

More: The Caregiver Cliff: An Economic Threat Almost Nobody's Talking About

"I put my son in Jay Nolan ... thinking he'd be protected in good hands," she tearfully told KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Saying later, "I ask God is there a way I (can go back in time) to stop one kick, one slap, one chain. I want to pay anything ... to make it stop, but I couldn't. It already passed."

When Kathy Coleman confronted the home's managers, they allegedly responded by rifling through her son's room to try to destroy the evidence, Gambardella told the station. Two workers have been fired in connection to the alleged abuse, one has been arrested, the arrest of the other is pending, and a warrant is expected to be issued for another, the station reported.

"We understand that incidents are being reported that certain conduct fell below the high standards we hold," Jay Nolan said in a statement. "Any such claim is taken very seriously ... and this reported conduct was immediately communicated to adult protective services and the police."

Families are increasingly employing in-home caregivers; as the baby boom generation ages, more and more families are broken up geographically, and both women and men work full-time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 70 percent growth in home health and personal care aides between 2010 and 2020. But the intimate and unsupervised nature of the work, and the inability of many of the elderly and disabled people in care to speak out, makes it particularly vulnerable to abuse. Last month, a woman also claims to have uncovered caregiver abuse with a camera that she hid in the plant pot in her 89-year-old grandmother's nursing-home room.

More: Texas Teacher Abused Autistic Child, Stuffed Her In A Filing Cabinet, Lawsuit Claims

In 2009, New York state Senator Jeffery Klein called elder abuse "the silent epidemic among us," after a report came out documenting 34,000 cases of such abuse in the prior year, ranging from physical and sexual violence to financial exploitation and neglect.

But exploitation and abuse can work in the reverse direction, too. Caregivers are primarily women of color, often undocumented immigrants, who labor in isolation with few legal protections. A national survey last year by the National Domestic Workers Alliance found that 1 in 4 domestic workers, which includes nannies and housecleaners in addition to caregivers, were paid below their state's minimum wage, and 1 in 3 said they had been insulted, verbally assaulted or threatened in the past 12 months.

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472 Comments

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estela92

AOL NEWS...............WHERE IS THE FOLLOW UP ON THIS NEWS ITEM ?

March 27 2013 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kimmyh619

As the parent of an adult son with autism, my heart goes out to the Colemans, and my prayers are with them. These individuals who abused this young man should be stripped, beaten and skinned alive - with their mouths taped shut. The managers who destroyed the cameras should have their hands cut off and their eyes gouged out. The MOST DANGEROUS place in the WORLD is between a Mother and her Child.

March 26 2013 at 7:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eeverettm

These people don't get punished enough. Just a slap on the wrist from our legal system because it is evil, weak and immoral. They don't care about the victims.

March 25 2013 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Danny Gene

So f'd up! Jail all of them!

March 23 2013 at 2:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bad57s

WHY DOESNT SOMEONE POST THE NAMES AND HOME ADDRESS FOR EACH OF THESES ANIMALS

March 23 2013 at 11:35 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bad57s

COWARDS PURE AND SIMPLE, THE PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE EXTREME.

March 23 2013 at 11:33 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Marie

If they can afford a private home for their son, why not bring him home and have a live in care for him
this way you would see him every day. It is a very sad situation, but he needs love from his parents.

March 23 2013 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marie's comment
rsb418

That's a cop out. They weren't able to care for him and the group home situation is where he'll be after his parents are gone.

March 23 2013 at 11:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
leidalili

Tears of sadness!!! What a disgrace!!!

March 23 2013 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
estela92

I CERTAINLY HOPE THAT AOL FOLLOWS THRU ON THIS STORY AND GIVES US ALL THE FINAL NEWS ON THE OUTCOME OF THIS TRAGIC STORY.
FIRST OF ALL THAT FASCILITY SHOULD BE CLOSED AND ALL, AND I MEAN ALL, OF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS TORTURE GO TO JAIL............FOR A LONG TIME.............THE EVIDENCE IS ON TAPE NO NEED TO WASTE ANY TAXPAYER MONEY ON COURTS ETC. AND THE PICTURES OF THOSE BASTARDS SHOULD BE POSTED EVERYWHERE AND THEY SHOULD HAVE A RECORD FOR LIFE .

March 23 2013 at 10:13 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to estela92's comment
dickn2000b

Why are you shouting? We can hear you just as goo in lower case English.

March 23 2013 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dickn2000b's comment
estela92

BECAUSE I HAVE DIFFICULTY IN SEEING.......*******

March 23 2013 at 10:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
Anita

this is so heartbreaking.... why oh why would anyone feel like punching and kicking someone who cannot
defend themselves.

March 23 2013 at 10:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Anita's comment
elh007

Because they have no conscience, no God in their lives, no moral values. They are animals and they deserve to rot in prison for the rest of their lives. This is absolutely heartbreaking! People, wake up, put God and Jesus Christ first in your lives. Believe on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior if you do not already. And do as Jesus said, Love one another as I have loved you.

March 23 2013 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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