Upstate Caregivers Arrested

Abuse and Neglect

WSPA reported that South Carolina police arrested Mariquita Antionetta Mcgowan and Jasmine Lariane Tomika Carter for neglect of a vulnerable adult. The two nursing home caregivers strapped a resident to a toilet. That is sick. The caregivers left the poor resident on the toilet for at least eight hours causing significant injuries. Whitten Regional Center employs the caregivers. The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs operates the facility that cares for vulnerable adults.

According to the arrest warrant, Mcgowan strapped the victim to the toilet with a cloth like restraint belt on November 23, 2020 at 10:40 p.m. Obviously this is against any safety standard or human decency. The victim’s treatment plan did not authorize the use of the device.

Mcgowan then ignored the victim. She never even went back to check on the resident. The caregivers kept the victim strapped to the toilet until the next morning. I bet the facility failed to have sufficient staff.

Carter entered the victim’s bathroom at 2:30 a.m., but left the victim strapped to the toilet. Carter returned at 6:21 a.m. and removed the victim from the toilet, according to the arrest warrant. Shift change occurs at 6:45 a.m.  Clearly, Carter knew that the victim was strapped to the toilet during her shift. However, she also refused to save the victim.

Living Wage

“It’s really frustrating to hear first of all that people are still in these large institutions that aren’t individualized for that person’s needs and dreams and wants and desires, but then the staff there are not fully trained,” said Jerri Davison, who is the chief program officer for non-profit Able South Carolina. “They are not paid very well.”

According to the state Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, the Whitten Center’s base pay is only $13 dollars an hour. DHEC fined the Whitten Center only $5,700 for failure to protect residents from physical restraints and abuse.