Caregiver Accused Of Assaulting Man In His Care


UPDATED: Tuesday December 6, 2011 7:26 PM

A man hired to care for the developmentally impaired was charged with beating a man in his care, police said Tuesday.

Anwar J. Cooper, of Columbus, was charged with patient abuse and assault on a functionally-impaired person after the Oct. 31 incident, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.

The alleged victim, Bryan Thomas, 35, suffered a black eye and redness on his left cheek, according to investigators.

"Witnesses said they saw (Cooper) smack (Thomas) upside the head, shoving him," said Columbus police Sgt. John Hurst Jr.

Cooper, 33, worked as a temporary therapeutic program worker at the Columbus Developmental Center, police said.

According to investigators, Cooper took a group of people to a west side strip mall.  Witnesses told police that Cooper assaulted Thomas as he left a Dollar Store.

Cooper told police that Thomas stole candy from the store.

"(Cooper's) story is he never touched the guy (and) he verbally directed him the whole time, never laid a hand on him," Hurst said.

A co-worker of Cooper was also at the store and failed to report the alleged assault, Landers reported.  The co-worker was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the police investigation.

Police said that they did not immediately file charges because they could not locate all four witnesses they sought.

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