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May 8, 2014

Police: Drunken worker assaulted disabled man

Caretaker arrested at home for disabled people

HAVERHILL — Police said a man who works as a caretaker for physically disabled people was drunk when he attacked one of them.

According to police, one of the victims said the caretaker punched his right knee, which investigators said showed signs of bruising.

Police arrested Cosmas James Mbugua, 22, of 5 Howe Court and charged him with assault and battery on a disabled person.

Mbugua was held pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for yesterday in Haverhill District Court. That hearing was moved to Newburyport District Court for May 19 because Haverhill District Court is not handicapped accessible and two of the witnesses are in wheelchairs, according to the Essex District Attorney’s Office.

Police said late on the night of April 25, they were called to 275 Lowell Ave., a state-operated home for physically disabled people.

According to a police report, officers talked to a nurse at the home when they arrived. She told them that one of the disabled residents said he was assaulted by Mbugua, a caretaker who is directly responsible for the care of five residents of the home.

The report said an officer then interviewed the resident who complained about being assaulted. The resident, sitting in his wheelchair, said that a few minutes before police arrived Mbugua yelled at him and punched him on the inside of his right knee, according to the report. The officer said he noticed a bruise on the resident’s knee. The resident also said he believed Mbugua had been drinking before the assault, according to the report.

The officer then interviewed Mbugua, “who was visibly intoxicated,’’ according to the report.

“He was unsteady on his feet and had a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his breath,’’ the officer said in the report.

Police then arrested Mbugua.

Later, the investigating officer spoke to a program director at the home who said she had workers talk to other residents after the arrest, according to the report. One of the workers said another physically disabled resident reported he was also assaulted earlier the same night by Mbugua, according to the report.

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