As­sault at a fam­ily-run Vaughan cen­tre for adults with dif­fi­cul­ties

Richmond Hill Post - - NEWS - —JS

As­saults in York Re­gion in­creased by 79 be­tween 2015 and 2016. Re­cently, a Vaughan sup­port cen­tre for adults with dis­abil­i­ties re­mains open for busi­ness after po­lice ar­rested and charged its owner and two fam­ily mem­bers.

The Hope Cen­tre on Wi­nona Drive was con­tacted by a jour­nal­ist on Oct. 20. A self-iden­ti­fied em­ployee said the cen­tre was never shut down, not on Oct. 13, when York Re­gional Po­lice ( YRP) ex­e­cuted a war­rant, or any other day. “We’ve never been shut down,” the staffer said. YRP launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cen­tre, which it said is an un­li­censed day sup­port cen­tre for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, in Au­gust after re­ceiv­ing a tip.

“A fam­ily mem­ber of one of the peo­ple that at­tended the cen­tre brought it to our at­ten­tion,” said YRP con­sta­ble Andy Pat­ten­den.

YRP said Giuseppe Mo­rana, 41, of Klein­berg, has been charged with as­sault. Ros­alina Panetta, 47, of Vaughan, is charged with fail to pro­vide nec­es­saries of life, as­sault and fraud. Onofiro DeFina, 27, of Vaughan, is charged with fail to pro­vide nec­es­saries of life, forcible con­fine­ment and as­sault. Three sus­pects have been re­leased on bail, and a court date has been set for Nov. 17, Pat­ten­den con­firmed.

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