Brooklyn, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced that a direct support professional employed by The THRIVE Network in Brooklyn was arrested for physically assaulting a person with a developmental disability who was in her care.

Tawana Carter (DOB: 07/07/1980) of Brooklyn, is charged with:

  •       One count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class "E" Felony;     
  •       One count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, a class "A" Misdemeanor;
  •       One count of Assault in the Third Degree, a class "A" Misdemeanor;
  •       One count of Menacing in the Third Degree, a class "B" Misdemeanor; and
  •       One count of Harassment in the Second Degree, a violation.

The charges stem from a February incident in which the defendant allegedly threw the victim to the ground and punched the victim repeatedly in the face, causing a laceration and swelling to the victim’s face. The THRIVE Network provides support for people with disabilities and their families, and is licensed by the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

“Workers, like this defendant, who are trained to care for people with special needs and who disregard their responsibilities and act out with violence, must be held accountable,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “We appreciate the conscientious employees who reported this incident.  We are also grateful to Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and his staff for their support of this prosecution.”

Carter, who has been suspended from her position, was arraigned before the Honorable Sharen D. Hudson of Kings County Criminal Court and released on her own recognizance. She is scheduled to reappear in court on July 13, 2017. Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor David Kim is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Justice Center investigators Cynthia Young and Maura Geoghegan.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a toll-free hotline for people to report allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The Justice Center encourages anyone who has witnessed or has reasonable cause to suspect that a person with special needs has been abused or neglected, or is in danger of being abused or neglected, to make a report. 

Individuals who are employed by or who volunteer at a facility or program under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction and certain human services professionals are designated as mandated reporters. These individuals have a legal duty to make a report when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a vulnerable person has been mistreated.

The Justice Center provides mandated reporters with training and guidance to understand their critical role in protecting vulnerable people.

The Justice Center ensures that all reports of abuse and neglect are investigated, including collaborating with local law enforcement agencies when appropriate, prosecutes criminal offenses, and pursues administrative sanctions against staff found to be responsible for misconduct. The Justice Center also provides advocacy services and guidance to victims, their families, personal representatives, and guardians.

Editor’s note: In compliance with Rule 3.6(b)(6) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you are advised that a charge is an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



Contact: Diane Ward, Office of Communications