Care Center Employee Arrested

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A Valdosta man is under arrest, charged with physically abusing two patients at a care center for the mentally challenged.

The Parkwood Developmental Center on Valdosta's Lee Street is home to many mentally challenged patients. Normally it's a peaceful, safe place, but this week employees called police to report that one of their co-workers, Frank James, had abused two patients with a belt.

LT Bernard Robinson with the Valdosta Police Department says, "Not only am I and the department upset, but the community should be outraged anytime this happens. Again, it's disgusting. It's reprehensible. There's no excuse for it, and right now we have no idea why this employee did what he did."

Managers with Parkwood were out of town and unavailable for comment on Friday.

The facility has a terrific track record when it comes to taking care of their patients. Authorities say they're glad to see the employees' call for help and lead to this arrest.

Robinson adds, "It appears this was an isolated incident. Other employees did see what occurred and reported it. That really tells us that it's not tolerated by administration or other employees. The employees should be commended for coming forward and telling what happened."

For the time being, James will be held at the Lowndes County Jail, and Valdosta police investigators say more charges could be filed in the coming days.