Newburgh group home employee arrested for alleged beating of blind, developmentally disabled resident

William Mirro has severe autism and Smith-Magenis Syndrome, according to his sister.

Blaise Gomez

Jun 26, 2024, 10:26 PM

Updated 19 days ago


News 12 has learned that a state group home worker for the developmentally disabled in Orange County has been fired after she was arrested for allegedly assaulting a man who is blind and has severe developmental disabilities.
The victim's sister, Kelly Mirro, cried during an exclusive interview with News 12 about the alleged attack.
"He was yanked across the room by his hair, slammed. He was slammed down on a chair. Verbally abused. She pulled him up by his ear to the point that he had marks," she says.
The alleged abuse is detailed in a Town of Newburgh police report obtained by News 12, which indicates a witness reported that his caretaker, Heather Pollison, assaulted 41-year-old William Mirro at Letchworth Village on Route 300 in April. Mirro's sister provided News 12 with photos of Mirro's injuries showing a bloody cut above his eye and marks on his ear.
"He's still there," says Kelly Mirro. "We are trying to get him out. That is falling on deaf ears. I email every single day because we don't feel safe."
William Mirro has severe autism and Smith-Magenis Syndrome, according to his sister.
Pollison is accused of slapping William Mirro and pinching the man's ear during the incident while degrading the group home resident and slamming him into chairs.
The facility is overseen by the Hudson Valley Developmental Disabilities Services Organization and the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. OPWWD says abuse isn't tolerated and that the worker is no longer employed by them.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office says Pollison is charged with attempted assault and harassment.
His sister says she wants justice for her brother and others.
"Justice for Billy is justice for all like him because our story is everyone's story," says Kelly Mirro.
News 12 reached out to Letchworth Village for comment but has not heard back.
The victim's sister says prosecutors told her the charges against Pollison could end up being dismissed since the group home resident can't verbalize what happened and the witness may now not be willing to testify in the case.
News 12 has calls out to officials for more information.

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