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Mentally ill man beaten with bats by his “guardians”

A 25-year-old mentally challenged man was beaten with an aluminum baseball bat by his grandfather's girlfriend because it was "lighter and easier to swing," according to the suspect.

Detectives from the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office arrested the 61-year-old woman and her 68-year-old boyfriend, both from Arlington Heights and charged them with assault, among other things, on Monday. A preliminary hearing is set for Monday, February 10. The two suspects are currently being held on $250,000 bail at the Allegheny County Jail.

The 25-year-old victim has been placed in a group home until further notice. Relatives of the young man have not been available to talk to reporters, but will likely be sought after for questioning and could possibly testify against the two suspects.  

The female suspect told police that she received the $730 per month Social Security check for the victim and considered it "room and board." Upon taking him to the hospital, it was found that the victim currently has several cracked and fractured bones and that he has also healed from old fractured and broken bones that were never treated.

The treatment of the victim was brought to the attention of his mental health case worker by a neighbor who claimed the suspects would force him to stand outside in the cold for hours at a time if he had an "accident."

It's an extremely sad story from top to bottom, but it comes to our attention at a time when mental health funding is at an all-time low and the number of mental health patients that would benefit from treatment, like the victim of this story, is growing and growing. You may remember a three-part series we completed in September about the closure of state-run facilities throughout Western PA and the country. When places like that are shut down because workloads are not optimized and scandals abound, it's innocent people like the victim of this story who suffer.

Source: Trib-Live, "Bats allegedly being used in custodians' beatings of mentally ill Arlington Heights man" 3 February 2014  

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