Police charge Sunmount employee with abuse

Misdemeanor leads state agency to fire Tupper man

TUPPER LAKE — State police arrested a Sunmount employee Monday on charges of reported abuse of a resident at the facility run by the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

A 33-year-old male Sunmount resident reported that on April 24, around midnight, he was pushed and his arm was injured by staff member Nicholas A. Mellon, 21, of Tupper Lake. The resident suffered bruising on his left arm as well as scratches on his neck and declined medical assistance, according to state police.

Mellon was charged with one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent person, a misdemeanor, which means the case will stay in local court. He was also fired from his position at Sunmount as a result of the investigation, according to OPWDD.

The case will be prosecuted by Franklin County Chief Assistant District Attorney David Hayes, who is based in Tupper Lake and said he reviews around 200 Sunmount cases a year when they rise to the level of criminal prosecution. He sees seeing patient-on patient, patient-on-staff and staff-on-patient cases.

OPWDD’s Justice Center, which investigates abuse allegations for the agency internally, will play a secondary role in this case, according to Hayes.

“Any abuse of the individuals in our care is completely unacceptable,” OPWDD Director of Communications Jennifer O’Sullivan said. “The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities works closely with the Justice Center and law enforcement to ensure that allegations of abuse against employees are thoroughly investigated and appropriate disciplinary action taken if found guilty.”

Hayes said Mellon will be arraigned in town court next Wednesday.

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