Staffer arrested in assault of disabled client
A supervisor at the Grand Junction Regional Center was arrested last week on allegations of assault against a disabled client at the facility.
Barbara E. Martellaro, 58, was booked at the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of third-degree assault on an at-risk adult — a felony charge — after Grand Junction police were called to Regional Center complex at 577 29 1/4 Road, according to an arrest affidavit.
Two health care employees told officers Martellaro, a shift supervisor, became angry when a client threw bed sheets into a shower, getting them wet, the affidavit said.
Martellaro allegedly grabbed the client with enough force to leave bruises on both forearms, the affidavit said.
The client in question is “severely developmentally disabled” and deaf, the affidavit noted.
“Martellaro was visibly upset, and angrily grabbed (client) by both forearms to make her put her sheets in a hamper,” the affidavit said.
“Martellaro used too much force when grabbing (client) and this concerned (employee),” the affidavit said.
The witnesses said Martellaro later grabbed the same client by both forearms when the client sat down at a table where ice cream was being served, the affidavit said.
The supervisor “pushed and pulled” the client away, forcing the client outdoors, the affidavit said.
The employees told officers there was no safety concern with the client sitting at the ice cream table, and didn’t understand why the client was forced outside.
The Regional Center has a policy of keeping clients inside when the temperature outdoors is 95 degrees or above, the affidavit said.
“(Employees) reported Martellaro has mood swings and sometimes has problems with anger,” according to the affidavit.
Martellaro’s statements to police were redacted in the affidavit released by police.
Mesa County Jail records indicated she posted bond by early Thursday evening.