Crime

Mass. state employee charged with assault of disabled man, who later died

An MRI determined the victim suffered spinal cord damage.

A Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services employee allegedly assaulted a disabled resident of a Danvers care facility who later died after the incident last month.

Patrick Tracey was arraigned in Salem District Court last week and held on charges of assaulting a male resident at the Hogan Regional Center, WCVB reports.

The victim, however, died after the court appearance, so Tracey could see his charges upgraded, a spokesperson for the Essex County District Attorney’s Office told the news station.

In a police report filed by a state trooper assigned to the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, Tracey — whose name also appears as Tracy in records — told police the man attempted to punch a television when Tracey told him he would not take him outside for a smoke break and he then directed the man to a “timeout room,” according to WCVB.

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The report says Tracey pushed the man into a cement wall. The man hit the front of his head, police wrote.

Other members of the center’s staff discovered the man on the floor, the station reports. He was unable to use his arms and legs, officials said.

When an ambulance was eventually called three-and-a-half hours later, the man repeatedly said, “A man shoved me into a wall, my neck, my neck,” according to the report.

An MRI revealed the man’s spinal cord was damaged, WCVB reports.

Tracey, who has worked for the Department of Developmental Services since at least 2010, was ordered held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing set for Friday, according to the news station.

His attorney did not respond to WCVB’s request for comment, and a spokesperson said the Department of Developmental Services could not comment on a pending court case.

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