Residents of a Maryland neighborhood say residents of a group home for people with mental illness sometimes get violent, smashing windows and accosting neighbors.
Nadia Allen said a resident of the group home in Upper Marlboro damaged her car last summer.
“My initial assessment, I thought he as on drugs or something,” she said. “That’s how, you know, something like that happens. So then I end up fighting him off.”
Prince George's County
News4's Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.
She said she was going home after work at 1:30 a.m. when the man grabbed her. After she fought him off, he took a brick and started banging her windshield.
“And the police, when they finally came, all they kept telling me, you know, he's mentally disabled,” she said. “I’m like, ‘OK. What does it take for him to bash me in my face with a brick?’”
That man shares the group home run by Our Care Inc. with three other residents and up to five caregivers. There have been other complaints from the neighborhood.
“My next-door neighbor, his car was bashed in, windows,” neighbor Linda Auls said. “The lady down the street, her front window was bashed in.”
“The neighborhood actually hasn't been friendly with us since day one,” said Mohamed Kamara, who operates Our Care.
He said the residents living in the group home have behavioral issues that require medication but aren't violent toward others. He said he's explained that to the community.
“I said the government is trying to integrate these people into society so we cannot isolate these people,” he said.
The concerned neighbors say their problem isn't with the home's location but with its management and what might happen the next time one of the residents shows up unsupervised.
“Make sure they have proper supervision and make sure the community is told instead of letting things happen and we are finding out on our own about this place,” Auls said.
Mohammed said he hopes people will attend an open house to learn a little more about Our Care.
Prince George’s County police confirmed responding to a number of calls about that group home and said they're hoping to also work with residents there to deal with the issue.
The Maryland Department of Health said people with concerns about a particular facility can submit a report through its consumer complaints portal. Those complaints will be investigated by the state.