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Disabled adults found living in unsanitary, cockroach-infested conditions in Hephzibah

HEPHZIBAH, Ga (WJBF) - In Hephzibah, several homes were raided on Thursday, April 28 following suspicious activity. 

 

 

Robert Hymel and Hal Gaddis were arrested for felony neglect of a disabled adult x 3.  

David Wallace Fulcher is also in jail, facing three counts of Felony Neglect of a Disabled Adult.

Authorities say more arrests are to come.

On Thursday, the Augusta Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly, or C.A.V.E., task force conducted an operation on Moseley Road, Augusta. 

Authorities say officers from the task force were following up on an investigation into an alleged boarding home at 1027 Moseley Road, where they found 5 disabled residents living in a dilapidated trailer. 

The trailer was unsanitary, had no centralized air conditioning and was cockroach infested, authorities said.

We're told the residents also required medical treatment for scabies infestations. One resident was hospitalized following a dog attack that had been left untreated, according to Investigator William Loomer.

All five residents were relocated to a licensed facility that day.

Arrest warrants for Gaynell Hymel and David Fulcher were made after it was revealed that they were being paid to provide care to the victims that were living in 1027 Moseley Road. 

Search warrants were also obtained for Gaynell Hymel’s two licensed personal care homes at 1015 Moseley Road and 1029 Moseley Road. 

It was determined that the two licensed homes were being used to attract new residents, and then move the most isolated of the victims in to sub par living conditions in the trailer, Investigator Loomer added.

Due to a large number of disabled adults, to include many Veterans remaining in the two homes still being operated by Hymel and Fulcher, a coordinated response was required between C.A.V.E and other agencies, Investigator Loomer said.

The agencies involved in Operation Unity Consisted of:

* The Augusta CAVE TASKFORCE

* Augusta District Attorney’s Office

* US Department of Veterans Affairs/ Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center

* Forensic Special Initiatives Unit

* Adult Protective Services

* Long Term Care Ombudsman

* Healthcare Facility Regulator

* Augusta Fire Department

* RCMO

* RCSO

* Hephzibah Police Department

* Department of Community Supervision

* Augusta Animal Control

* Georgia Bureau of Investigation

* Gold Cross EMS

With assistance from

* Piney Grove Baptist Church

* Chik Fil A, Robert C Daniel branc

More than 80 State / volunteer personnel were used.

Operation Unity was broken down in to stages to allow controlled arrests, relocations and the execution of search warrants. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs assisted in the extensive planning for the operation, and was assisted by the local VA Legion Volunteers. Specialists were brought in by all agencies, to assess, and reassure the people that were relocated to licensed facilities.

The operation was a success, with some 17 disabled adults being safely assessed and relocated.

David Fulcher had left the scene prior to the taskforce’s arrival, and is still currently wanted, with three charges of felony neglect of a disabled adult.

Also at the scene, living in one of the licensed personal care homes, was Robert Hymel, he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a magistrate court bench warrant.

Another male that lived at the licensed Personal Care Home, Hal Gaddis, was arrested for trafficking methamphetamine (63 grams) Officers also seized approximately $4000 in cash and a vehicle from him.


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