GOSHEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Was it abuse or a misunderstanding?
As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, an upstate Orange County couple has been charged with abusing a disabled man on their payroll – and neighbors say they can’t believe it.
Sprawling Silent Farm in the Goshen is a combination horse farm and bed and breakfast. Now it is the source of considerable local concern that its two well-regarded owners have been arrested.
“It came as a tremendous surprise. I was absolutely stunned,” said Christine Miele of Goshen. “You could not meet two kinder people.”
New York State Police said John and Mary Quick are responsible for neglecting a 59-year-old developmentally disabled stable hand. They are charged with endangering the welfare of a vulnerable adult and grand larceny.
People familiar with the farm said the Quicks are guilty of nothing more than taking care of someone who needed help and a job.
“He always looked fine,” Miele said. “He was, you know, he was a farmhand he didn’t have immaculate clothing on, but he wasn’t in rags. And he was well-fed; well taken care of, and happy to be there. And he was free to come and go however he wanted. Nobody was holding him hostage,”
The alleged had been living and working at the farm for years with no problem. But two weeks ago, CBS2’s Young was told he became agitated at the sight of a number of strangers attended a reception at the main house.
He left the property and showed up on a neighbor’s doorstep, saying he was hungry. That was when the investigation started.
State police confirmed there were no signs of physical abuse, but that the charges stem from living conditions at the stable hand’s quarters in the barn and the man’s access to his own funds.
When CBS2 stopped by the farm, police kept Young and his crew off the property. A man who appeared to be John Quick declined to comment.
He and his wife are due in court next month.
The employee at the center of the investigation was examined at a local hospital and found to be fine.