Parkwood Development Center worker arrested for Assault on Patient

| February 23, 2018

Valdosta Police Report:

On February 16, 2018, the Valdosta Police Department responded to the Parkwood Developmental Center in reference to an assault incident. Officers arrived and made contact with Director of the Parkwood Facility. The Director advised that she was made aware by other coworkers that one of the caretakers was being abusive to some of the residents of the facility. The Director advised that she immediately launched an internal investigation, contacted The Department of Community Health in Atlanta, Georgia, and was requesting assistance from the Valdosta Police Department. The Director advised that the care of each resident was of the utmost importance to the facility and allegations of this nature were taken very seriously.

The Valdosta Police Department’s Bureau of Investigative Services Person’s Crimes Unit continued investigating the complaint with the assistance of the Director. Valdosta PD also notified The Georgia Advocacy Office, Adult Protective Services, Healthcare Facility Regulations, Department of Community Health, Georgia Advocacy and the Department of Family and Children Services of the incident.

The investigation revealed that one female employee had been observed by other caretakers/employees of the facility abusing residents. The caretakers were cooperative with law enforcement in reporting what they had witnessed. The employee was identified as 24-year-old Ariel Robinson.

On February 22, 2018, Valdosta Police Detectives met with the Magistrate’s Court of Lowndes County and obtained four arrest warrants for Ariel Robinson. Robinson was taken into custody yesterday without incident and transported to the Lowndes County Jail.

Robinson now faces (2) counts of: Abuse of a Disabled Adult (FELONY) and (2) counts of Simple Battery (Misdemeanor). To ensure the Parkwood Developmental Center was in compliance with all state rules/regulations, Healthcare Facility Regulations completed a surprise inspection on February 21, 2018 of Parkwood Developmental Center Facility and no additional issues were identified.

“The assistance of The Georgia Advocacy Office, Adult Protective Services, Healthcare Facility Regulations, Department of Community Health, Georgia Advocacy and the Department of Family and Children Services was greatly appreciated in this case along with the hard work of VPD detectives. The cooperation and commitment of the Parkwood Developmental Center in the investigation sends a clear message that any mistreatment of our vulnerable brothers and sister will not be tolerated on any level,” said Lieutenant Adam Bembry.

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