WARNING:The video may be disturbing to some viewers. An employee at a group home in East Hartford has been suspended without pay and a police investigation is now under way after a video surfaced that appears to show abuse.
The video was dropped off to the state, the private company that runs the group home and to the Channel 3 Eyewitness News I-Team.
The video that the I-Team received came with few details, just a label that said "The Perfect Employee."
When Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Parker took a look at the video, he said he was shocked at what he saw.
The same reaction happened at the highest levels of the state Department of Developmental Services.
The video had no name and no date - just the label that claimed it was filed at the East Hartford group home.
The commissioner of the Department of Developmental Service saw the video and called it the most heinous act he's witnessed in 40 years of working with disabled adults.
There's a kick to the gut, there's several blows with what appears to be a belt and then a woman is dragged off by her hair.
The group home is run by a company called Options Unlimited out of Bloomfield.
There are between four and six intellectually disabled adults that live there with 24-hour care.
Commissioner Terrence Macy said he only watched seconds of the video before knowing that a crime was committed.
Macy said it was a terrible incident and wants to prosecute the person responsible to the fullest extent.
"I am outraged by the images in this video," Macy said in a statement. "This is absolutely unacceptable. Our immediate response was to ensure the accused staffer was removed from the premises and the victim is getting the proper care and support. DDS has begun our own investigation in conjunction with the investigation by the East Hartford police, and we will work with authorities to aggressively prosecute any wrongdoing."
After seeing the video, state staff rushed to check on the residents of the home, but found no bruises or other signs of recent abuse.
The I-Team learned that the very same group home was the focus of an abuse investigation last year.
After that investigation, cameras were installed in the home.
Since this abuse wasn't seen on those cameras, the state believes the video was shot at least four to five months ago.
Those cameras were installed after several staff members were fired.
This latest investigation will also try to determine who shot this video.
State officials said there are 16,000 people that care for disabled adults and said this is a very rare situation.
The company that runs the home serves about two dozen adults in six group homes.
When the I-Team called Options Unlimited in Bloomfield, the person on the phone exclaimed "No comment!" and immediately hung up the phone.
However, Options Unlimited officials released a statement a short time later that said, "Options Unlimited Inc. is a nonprofit private agency under contract with the State Department of Developmental Services (DDS). We are deeply saddened and appalled by this incident. As soon as we became aware of it, we took prompt action and placed the employee on unpaid administrative leave. We are working closely with DDS and the East Hartford Police Department on the investigation."
The state said the person who shot the video could also be the target of an investigation as well.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:00:10 GMT
Crews from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said they have been called to Bridgewater to investigate reports that a body has been found in the water.The search is being conductedMore >
Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Environmental Conservation Police said they are responding to reports that a body was found in Lake Lillinonah in Bridgewater late Tuesday morning.More >
A heartbreaking photograph is making its rounds on the Internet that shows a child in a wheelchair that has been separated fro the rest of his classmates in a class photo.According to The Province, motherMore >
A heartbreaking photograph is making its rounds on the internet that shows a child in a wheelchair that has been separated from the rest of his classmates in a class photo.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:14 AM EDT2013-06-18 14:14:08 GMT
A Westbrook man was arrested Monday evening after attempting to get people to provide him with an alcohol-free breath sample to bypass his vehicle Ignition Interlock Device. Clinton police said 67-year-oldMore >
A Westbrook man was arrested Monday evening after attempting to get people to provide him with an alcohol-free breath sample to bypass his vehicle Ignition Interlock Device.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 2:53 PM EDT2013-06-18 18:53:17 GMT
A bank teller accused of stealing from the CD accounts of mostly elderly customers has pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Federal prosecutors say 35-year-old Michelle Laudato of Farmington pleaded guilty TuesdayMore >
A bank teller accused of stealing from the CD accounts of mostly elderly customers has pleaded guilty to bank fraud.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:22 AM EDT2013-06-18 11:22:43 GMT
A Greenwich middle school teacher accused of threatening to "shoot up" the school has been ordered by a judge to undergo mental health counseling and to stay away from the building. Forty-six-year-oldMore >
A Greenwich middle school teacher accused of threatening to "shoot up" the school has been ordered by a judge to undergo mental health counseling and to stay away from the building.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:54 AM EDT2013-06-18 14:54:02 GMT
Police say a man charged with murdering a Connecticut college student threatened to kill her after she tried to break off their relationship shortly before she disappeared in April. Arrest and searchMore >
A Connecticut man charged with murdering his college student girlfriend and dismembering her body had threatened to kill her after she tried to break up with him, according to newly released arrest and search warrant affidavits.More >
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:45 AM EDT2013-06-18 11:45:43 GMT
Happy Saturday, Rain is on its way – as expected – but it will not hamper the entire weekend. Early this morning, there will be low clouds, fog and drizzle in many parts of Connecticut. This will haveMore >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 4:25 PM EDT2013-06-18 20:25:37 GMT
Connecticut State Police said they were assisting Winsted police in investigating a standoff Tuesday morning.The incident was reported in town before 10 a.m.It's unknown what led to the standoff.PoliceMore >
Connecticut State Police said they were assisting Winsted police investigating a suspicious incident in Winchester Tuesday morning.More >