NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A caretaker in Brooklyn has been arrested after authorities say she abused multiple patients with disabilities.
Natasha Mercer, 48, was a former employer of Lazar IRA, PSCH, Inc. and faces multiple charges of endangerment, attempted assault and harassment for an attack on people she was supposed to be taking of. She allegedly struck one of them with a phone receiver.
"These victims relied on the defendant to care for them and ensure that their daily needs were met," Patricia Gunning, special prosecutor for the state's Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, said in a statement. "Those who choose to disregard their responsibilities, like this defendant is alleged to have done, and instead attempt to injure those in their care, will be held accountable."
Mercer is accused of restraining a resident with developmental disabilities by the throat and pushing the resident up the wall while repeatedly striking the victim on the head and body. She also struck the same individual in the head with a telephone receiver, authorities said.
The prosecutor said Mercer also forcibly pinched another resident with developmental disabilities in the arm, causing the victim to recoil away in pain.
Mercer was a shift supervisor and has since been terminated from her position. She was arraigned at Kings County Criminal Court and is scheduled to return to court on July 22.
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