AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Following several incidents this year, two of them resulting in death, the District Attorney’s office set up a personal care home task force. That group is making arrests to end the negligence. Two people are now in jail for neglect in connection with personal care homes.
“They didn’t have any food, so my husband was providing them with food and stuff like that. This is not the first time I called the cops about this situation,” a neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, said.
Margaret Freeman and Paul Livingston are allegedly operating unlicensed personal care homes. Last Wednesday, the care home task force came to a house on Juniper Drive for a welfare check. Investigator William Loomer who is on the task force told me when Freeman and Livingston pulled into the driveway with a car full of people, they saw the task force and fled the scene.
“Well she just moves them to another home and acts like nothing is going on,” the anonymous neighbor said.
Loomer explained when he went inside, the toilet was duct taped shut, the patients were sleeping on air mattresses with no pillows and blankets, the air conditioning did not work and there was little food.
Residents told investigators Freeman receives most of the men’s disability checks and is in charge of their money. “He said that his car had broken down, and he wanted his car fixed,” the anonymous neighbor said. “She wouldn’t get his car fixed, and she had all of his money.”
Another neighbor, Mildred Brown, told me she frequently sees men from the home walking the streets, sometimes walking back with grocery bags. “As much food as I throw away sometimes I could have at least helped out in those situations,” Brown explained. “I just didn’t know anything like that was going on.”
There are two other two homes under investigation, one on Milledgeville Road and the other on DuPont Street.
Investigator Loomer said after leaving the house on Juniper, Freeman collected all of the residents then abandoned them in different motels in the area with no food or money. Paul Livingston was caught in the act Thursday morning and arrested on the spot. Neglect warrants were taken out for Freeman Friday, and on Sunday she was arrested.
“I’m just so glad she was brought to justice,” the anonymous neighbor admitted.
“We all should be more attentive about what is going on around us. Keep a look out for things that don’t look right, and report it,” Brown said.
Freeman and Livingston are being held at the Phinizy Road jail and more charges are expected to come.