Two workers accused of beating mental patient

Two Cherry Hospital workers were arrested Friday after police accused them of beating a patient.

Investigators say the assault occurred Monday – the same day federal regulators issued a report citing serious violations at the state mental hospital in Goldsboro for an earlier patient assault and the neglect of a patient who died.

On Friday, Taniko Dominique Upton and William Kenneth Johnson, both health care technicians, were charged with assault and battery of a handicapped person, a felony.

Upton, 33, is accused of hitting a male patient in the abdomen, knocking him to the floor. Upton then kicked and punched the patient in the head and side, according to the arrest warrant.

Johnson, 52, is accused of holding the victim during the initial assault, and then joined Johnson in beating the patient, according to a warrant.

Under a public information request, the department also released records Friday for three other Cherry employees arrested in recent months.

Vincent Morton, 45, was charged in March with felony assault and battery of a handicapped person after police say he placed his hands around a patient's neck “in a choking manner” and then hit the patient in the head.

Richard John Percival II, 30, was arrested in May and charged with misdemeanor assault after he struck a patient in the head and body, according to a criminal summons. That charge was later dropped when the patient refused to return to Wayne County to testify against his alleged attacker.

Tonivia Bryant, 30, was charged with felony assault on a handicapped person in May after investigators said she hit a woman repeatedly in the face and head. According to a police report, the patient assaulted Bryant and was restrained. Once the woman was strapped down, the health care technician attacked the patient, striking her 11 times.

Court records show the charge against Bryant was dismissed Aug. 8.