A day after Miami-Dade prosecutors released disturbing surveillance video of group home employees wrestling a patient to the ground, family members are speaking out about the man's death.
Family members identified the man as 36-year-old Edward Ware, who was living with autism.
The incident, which happened in December at the Family Tree Concept Inc. group home on NE 138th Street in North Miami, was captured on video.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office released the video of three employees restraining Ware on Wednesday as they announced a new working group aimed at preventing elderly and vulnerable populations from being abused.
Investigators say Ware became unresponsive during the course of the incident, stopped breathing, and was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Ware’s father, Edward Taylor, told NBC 6 that he was on the phone with his son at the time of the incident.
“It was devastating. It was upsetting. But, hey, I’ve got to live with it,” Taylor said.
Investigators said three staff members improperly restrained Ware after he threatened to leave.
Taylor told NBC 6 he saw the video for the first time Wednesday.
“When I saw the video, I realized what happened, because I heard the girl saying hold him to the mat. I heard my son crying, ‘Ok, ok, ok,’ like he was trying to concede,” Taylor said. “... I almost hit my TV. I was just that mad. I was just that mad. I almost hit my TV.”
Group home employees Katherine Hair, 34; Terrence Nelson, 24; and Derrick Coley, 21, are facing manslaughter charges.
“I was relieved to a point where at least I know there’s some kind of condition where somebody has to be held accountable,” Taylor said.
Taylor says he’s heard very little information from group home management about the incident that resulted in his son’s death.
NBC 6 knocked on the door of the group home, but no one answered. We’ve also reached out to Family Tree Concept Inc. by phone and text message, but our requests for comment have gone unanswered.
“Now I’m in limbo because it’s a lot of things going on and I still haven’t gotten my answers,” Taylor said.