Thursday, December 11, 2008

Couple charged with neglect and abuse of sibling

Johnstown, Pennsylvania - A western Pennsylvania couple were charged on Tuesday with abusing and neglecting an 18-year-old developmentally disabled brother, the Tribune Democrat reports. According to police, Christopher Lee Shoopman, 25, and Dawn Michelle Schrock, 19, would punish her brother, Matthew Schrock, for infractions like talking back to them, or having his music too loud:

The brother would be locked up in the closet, beaten and forced to do push-ups and sit-ups, Johnstown police said.

His meals were skipped. The brother, at 6-foot 5, was admitted to Memorial Medical Center and weighed 118 pounds.

Police said his left facial area was bruised and swollen, multiple bruises dotted his arms and legs, with blood “around his mouth and stuck to his front teeth.”

An officer at the scene said the victim “appeared to be exceptionally thin and frail, noting bones protruding from his frame.”

According to this story in this morning's Post Gazette, Mr Schrock was still in the hospital yesterday. A 6-month-old boy, who was also found in the home, and described as being "malnourished," is now in the care of his father.

Christoper Shoopman and Dawn Schrock have been charged with false imprisonment, neglect of a care-dependent person, unlawful restraint, criminal conspiracy and reckless endangerment. Ms Schrock also faces various charges in connection with the treatment of her brother and neglecting the care of her 6-month-old boy. Ms. Schrock, who has already waived her right to a preliminary hearing, is expected to post bond soon. Mr. Shoopman is being held in jail in lieu of $75,000 bond. The full details are here and here.

Best wishes to Matthew, and to the baby, for a speedy recovery and for lots of love in the future.