Mother Of Greer Center Client Says Son Was Assaulted

The mother of a current client at the Greer Center, who wished to remain anonymous to protect her family from retaliation, told News 9 her son was assaulted at the facility in the fall of 2022.

Wednesday, November 22nd 2023, 5:01 pm

By: Chris Yu

The mother of a client at the Robert M. Greer in Enid said her son was assaulted. Her account came amid a police investigation into alleged abuse at the treatment facility for adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illnesses.

Six former employees at the Greer Center have been arrested so far, said the Enid Police Department. The suspects include 51-year-old Edward Webster, 21-year-old Adlai Flores, 26-year-old Gavin Foster, 28-year-old Jonathan Orozco, 21-year-old Jonathan Martinez and 24-year-old Jhon Nieto.

They each face complaints of abuse by caretaker and conspiracy.

According to affidavits written by the investigating detective, witnesses said some of the suspects used a bedsheet to choke a client who had the mental capacity of a 4-year-old. Once he became unconscious, the suspects beat him until he regained consciousness, the court documents said. A witness told investigators the abuse happened to the victim 40 times, the affidavits stated.

In another incident of alleged abuse, a witness told police the suspects used food from outside the facility to bribe one of the center's patients into beating another patient "on a regular basis," the affidavits said. The witness said the suspects targeted that patient because that patient "cuss(ed) them out." That patient also told police the suspects assaulted him, including punching and kicking him in the abdomen area, hitting him in the face, and choking him, according to the affidavits.

The mother of a current client at the Greer Center, who wished to remain anonymous to protect her family from retaliation, told News 9 her son was assaulted at the facility in the fall of 2022. She said her son, who was 21 at the time but had the mental capacity of an elementary-school-aged boy, called another staff member a profanity prior to the incident.

"This male worker who was a new hire lunged in at him and put him in a chokehold and was, you know, messing around, trying to get him under control. And in the altercation, he ended up punching our son in the stomach," the mother said. "And while he is very tall, taller than most men, we think it was excessive force. We understand that he needed to be restrained and calmed down. But punching a mentally-disabled child... we just thought that was excessive."

The mother said the Greer Center fired that staff member immediately following the incident. A separate, reliable source confirmed the termination took place.

"These staff people have to go to training in how to appropriately restrain these types of patients. They have training for that and so he stepped way past that," the mother said.

Enid Police said there was an investigation into that incident and an affidavit was submitted. But the Garfield County Court Clerk's Office said an affidavit was not on file.

The mother said despite the incident, her son continues to be a resident at the Greer Center.

"For the most part, they've been very forthcoming. Anytime there's been a situation, they do make contact with his appointed guardian," the mother said. "I think for the most part, he is safe. I just would like to see some more transparency from the facility."

Meanwhile, Enid Police said they are going through more reports of possible abuse at the Greer Center to determine if there are other suspects or possible charges.

"Your heart goes out for the actual person in that (news) article because who knows if they have someone who can advocate for them," the mother said. "It's devastating to think that there is a person of diminished mental capacity who could be abused. It's tear-jerking."

A former employee at the Greer Center told News 9 that the facility delayed reporting abuse incidents to the state until the clients' injuries had healed.

Oklahoma Human Services said the agency has stopped new admissions to the Greer Center and has implemented "heightened scrutiny and safety protocols for the remaining residents."

"Oklahoma Human Services has our own staff on-site on an ongoing basis for safety monitoring," a Oklahoma Human Services spokesperson said. "(Monday), we initiated immediate training at Greer to ensure the safety of our clients. Our Office of Client Advocacy provided training to Greer staff to reinforce any previous training regarding reporting abuse and neglect. Additional training and other remedial efforts will continue. Agency staff are also doing unannounced inspections around the clock."

News 9 also went to the Greer Center on Thursday to seek comment on the police investigation, but the door was locked and staff did not answer.


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