The death of a group home resident in Clarksburg has heightened safety concerns among neighbors who tell The Gazette that complaints have been mounting for years.
On Oct. 8, Montgomery County Police responded to reports of a man being violent and erratic at a residence on Tailor Shop Place, the site of an independent living program for people with disabilities, several media outlets have reported.
According to The Gazette, Nathan Jones, 39, allegedly threatened two of his roommates with a knife and a hammer. Police claim Jones resisted arrest and had to be pepper sprayed. After medical crews left, Jones passed out and was taken to the hospital where he later died, Patch reported.
Jones’s death remains under police investigation.
Members of the neighborhood homeowners’ association told The Gazette that the incident was one of many involving Family Services Inc., which operates that and another group home in Clarksburg—and a total of 26 throughout the county.
A homeowner's association board member told the newspaper that complaints among neighbors have ranged from excessive noise to group home residents fighting, and that while Family Service had responded to neighbor’s complaints, it had not been proactive.
The story is available in its entirety at Gazette.net.
Shortly after Jones died, WUSA reported that a mentally ill registered sex offender had been living in one of the Clarksburg group homes without a full-time counselor living there—news that did not sit well with neighbors.
The resident was not connected to the Oct. 8 incident, WUSA reported.
State records did not indicate any complaints against the group homes, according to WUSA’s account.
Police reportedly told The Gazette that police responded four times to the home where Jones was living but none of those visits resulted in an incident report.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Thom Harr, executive director of Family Services, said that those who knew Jones were having a hard time dealing with his death:
“The people who lived with him, the people who know him, they’re in tears,” said Thom Harr, executive director of Family Services Inc., a nonprofit human services group that houses nearly 100 people around Montgomery County. “You can have somebody who becomes upset, but you never expect this to be the outcome. . . . 999 out of 1,000 times it’s not going to end this way.”