2009-09-24 / Local & State

Man Charged With Adult Neglect

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - A Pennsylvania man who left three blind and deaf adults in his care locked in a van for about an hour Sunday while he ate at a western Maryland diner has been arrested, police said.

Brian Fleming, 47, of Fairfield, Pa., was charged with three counts of vulnerable adult neglect.

Patrons of the Mountain View Diner in Fredrick called police to report people locked in a van that was parked in direct sunlight.

Offices opened the van door so heat could escape and an ambulance was called to provide care because the trio appeared to be hot and in distress.

Police say as the ambulance arrived, Fleming came out of the diner and he was arrested.

The three people who had been locked in the van were taken back to Medsource Community Services Inc. in Frederick. Fleming is a Medsource employee.

Robert Claxton, executive director of Medsource, said Monday that the three people suffered no injuries or illnesses.

Fleming is employed by Med- Source as a "direct care worker who provides support to people with developmental disabilities," Claxton said.

Claxton declined to give Fleming's length of employment or his current status with Med- Source.

However, he said, "Staff who leave the people we serve unattended in a vehicle, whether the windows ar up or down, whether someone deems it comfortable for them or not, cannot work for us."

"You cannot leave the people we serve unsupervised."

Claxton said Medsource does an annual search of staff members' driving records and a biennial search of their criminal records.

Claxton said the clients had been to church earlier Sunday and he assumed they were to have been taken out to lunch. None of them had eaten before the incident, he said.

David Paulson, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said Monday an investigation will be conducted of the facility.

"But in the meantime, the normal course is to step back and let whatever law enforcement investigation that is taking place proceed at its own pace," he added.

Paulson said he had no information on the compliance history of MedSource Community Services.

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