Friend defends couple accused of beating mentally-challenged man - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Friend defends couple accused of beating mentally-challenged man

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Ricky Madry (Source: Facebook) Ricky Madry (Source: Facebook)
Chris Battle (Source: LMDC) Chris Battle (Source: LMDC)
Vickie Battle (Source: LMDC) Vickie Battle (Source: LMDC)
Donovon Fornwalt Donovon Fornwalt

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Louisville Metro Police say an Auburndale neighborhood man and his wife became so upset with her grown, mentally-challenged son that the two of them tied him up and beat him with a belt.

We've not been able to reach the alleged victim in this case and the family has declined comment. But a family friend is defending the parents in what, even advocates for mentally-challenged say, can be the most stressful of situations.

[RELATED STORY: LMPD: Mentally challenged man tied to pole, abused by parents]

The friend calls herself a house sitter who cares a good deal about Joseph R. "Ricky" Madry, Jr.

"To me, he's all right," she said. "He might be a little slow."

But sometimes, Madry, 25, pushes her and his mother, Vickie Battle, 47, past the breaking point.

"I don't care how old you get," said the family friend, "you do not push and stuff on your mother. He done pushed his Momma and his mother done have five surgeries on her leg."

LMPD alleges that Madry made his mother and stepfather, Chris Battle, so upset during a February 15 visit to their home that his stepfather threw Madry against the wall with such force that the impact created a hole.

"Victim is…mentally challenged," the arrest report reads. "(Chris Battle) tied victim to a pole with an extension cord."  Police allege that Madry's stepfather and mother whipped him with a belt, requiring treatment at a hospital.

Detectives arrested Chris and Vickie Battle on February 21 after Madry's caregiver called Adult Protective Services and reported suspicions of abuse. The arrest report states Chris and Vickie Battle have admitted tying up Madry and striking him. Both have been charged with abuse and neglect. They are due back in court March 3. Calls to their attorney have not been returned.

"I was there studying my Bible and didn't hear nothing," said the house sitter. 

Such incidents are more common that one might suspect, according to Donovon Fornwalt, chief executive officer of Kentucky's Council on Developmental Disabilities. 

"Children are always, almost always receive more support," Fornwalt said. "They're cuter. Parents often feel isolated, or alone, as their children grow into adulthood, because we're not talking about just an 18 year commitment. We're not talking about an 18 year commitment. We're talking about a commitment that lasts from birth ‘til death."

 

Records indicate that Madry had attended the Alfred Binet School, a Jefferson County Public School specializing in programs for the mentally or behaviorally challenged. Privacy laws prohibit JCPS from releasing information regarding his attendance. 

Kentucky has established a registry to help parents screen caregivers for challenged-children. No such registry exists for those caring for challenged adults.

"We're closer to that now than we've ever gotten, though," Fornwalt said.  

If it receives House approval Gov. Steve Beshear has vowed to sign Senate Bill 98 sponsored by Sen. Julie Denton (D-Louisville). The bill would require employers to help create a database detailing allegations of, and convictions for patient abuse. 

Ironically, the arrest report states Madry's caregiver provided the information that led to the police investigation. We have been unable to reach the caregiver for comment. 

The Battle family's house sitter believes police were wrong to charge her friends with a crime. 

"They (Chris and Vickie Battle) are good people," she said. "They (sic) do anything they can for you. 

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