AG Gansler: Catonsville Woman Pleads Guilty to Neglect of Disabled Adult
Caregiver went shopping, left vulnerable victim locked in a hot car
Baltimore, MD (July 15, 2014) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Latia L. Matthews, 24, of Windsor Mill, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor neglect of a vulnerable adult in her care. Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Julie Glass accepted the guilty plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 23.
The charge stems from a July 28, 2013 incident at the Westview Mall parking lot in Catonsville. Matthews was responsible for the direct supervision of a 22-year-old disabled woman as part of her employment with Progress Unlimited Incorporated, an agency that provides residential and medical day care services for adults with developmental disabilities. At the time of the incident, the victim was left in a locked vehicle with only partial ventilation while Matthews and a companion went shopping for approximately 15 minutes.
The victim was incapable of independently getting out of the vehicle on a sunny day when the temperature was in the 80s. A concerned citizen called police and an officer eventually managed to open the door, allowing the victim to exit the vehicle. The victim did not suffer any physical injuries as a result of the incident, although her care plan required that she was not to be left unsupervised at any time.
This case was investigated by Attorney General Gansler's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Baltimore County Police Department. In making the announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Stephen Roscher and Neglect Investigator Dean Brewer for their work on the case, and the Baltimore County Police for their quick response and investigation of the incident.