Father: Son with autism was wrongfully imprisoned after arson indictment
An Ulster County father says his son with autism was wrongfully imprisoned for the past five months and is telling his side of the story.
Vincent Carozza, 25, of Milton, was indicted in April for attempted arson after allegedly trying to set fire to a group home in Dutchess County and assaulting a staff member.
“Everybody figured that eventually the charges would be dismissed or turned into a misdemeanor," says his father, Joseph. "He put a battery and spoon in the microwave...There was no fire, no damage, no harm."
Carozza says his son didn't commit a crime and that his disability wasn't considered when he was charged and eventually found unfit to stand trial. Vincent Carozza was kept in custody at Sunmount, a state facility for people with disabilities.
Joseph Carozza says his son was surrounded by “rapists, pedophiles and molesters” at the facility. He also claims his son was sexually assaulted by an inmate in custody. News 12 has not been able to confirm that allegation.
On Thursday, Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady announced that the criminal charges against Carozza are being dropped because the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities is the better agency to address Carozza's needs.
Though the charges will be formally dropped next week, the DA is not saying he won’t need supervision. For now, he remains at Sunmount.
Joseph Carozza says he is planning to take legal action.