FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A former Pee Dee Regional Center employee was arrested after being accused of hitting a resident, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Terry Leshawn Cooper Jr., 33, of Florence, was arrested Thursday and charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult.
On Dec. 7, Cooper allegedly hit the victim in the side and stomach several times, according to an arrest warrant provided by SLED. Cooper was employed at the Pee Dee Regional Center at the time.
The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, which operates the facility, said the incident was uncovered while a staff member was reviewing camera footage “in response to a report of an unrelated incident.”
The staff member saw the alleged incident involving Cooper and reported the information to SLED, according to a statement from the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
Cooper was placed on leave and subsequently fired, according to the statement.
“DDSN is grateful to SLED for its swift and thorough review of the allegation, and for its due diligence with this case,” the statement reads. “DDSN is committed to ensuring individuals in our care are safe, respected, and treated with compassion by all employees. DDSN has zero tolerance for anyone who abuses, mistreats, or neglects the individuals we serve.”
Cooper was booked into the Florence County Detention Center and was released two hours later on a $7,500 bond, according to online booking records.
Last month, another former employee was arrested and charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult after allegedly hitting a resident in the face. There were also several arrests made involving alleged abuse of vulnerable adults by former employees in May 2021.
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Kevin Accettulla is the digital executive producer at News13. Kevin is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He joined the News13 team in March 2020 after nearly two years at a sister station in Pennsylvania. Follow Kevin on Twitter and read more of his work here.