Man charged in assaults on women

Staff WriterSeptember 6, 2007 

— State authorities intend to launch an investigation into a supervised home for mentally ill adults after police say one of the residents walked off and assaulted two elderly women and tried to rape one.

Inspectors with the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulations will try to determine whether the owners of Emmanuel's Homecare Facility at 552 Industrial Drive followed a treatment plan prescribed for Bobby Marcellus Frazier, a registered sex offender. Police say Frazier, 60, assaulted and tried to rape a 78-year-old woman and assaulted a 92-year-old woman at a home near downtown.

State officials will also look at whether the three-bed treatment center provided adequate supervision for residents and whether it followed treatment plans for two other people living there, said Debbie Crane, a spokeswoman with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, on Wednesday afternoon.

The facility was cited last September for several "deficiencies," Crane said: neglecting the treatment plan for one of its residents; three staff members not being trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation; faulty records management, and failure to do a complete criminal background check on one of its employees. Crane said the company changed owners in December and when state officials returned, the current owner, Brenda McCooney of Wendell, had corrected the deficiencies.

On Tuesday, police arrested Frazier and charged him with attempted second-degree rape, kidnapping, breaking and entering, and two counts of assault on a female, said Wendell Police Chief J.A. Privette.

Police think that on Tuesday morning, Frazier walked from the residential facility to a brick home about a mile away.

Privette said that after finding the front door open, Frazier jerked open the storm door and began assaulting a 78-year-old woman who was cleaning the living room. Police said a 92-year-old woman who was in another room heard a commotion and called 911.

The women both suffered injuries that are not considered life- threatening, Privette said.

Frazier, at the residence when police arrived, was taken to the Wake County jail, where he is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, police reported. According to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry, Frazier was convicted in 1986 of attempted rape in Wayne County and sentenced to six years in prison.

The home at 552 Industrial Drive is owned by Steven and Lisa Sanderson of Wendell. Steven Sanderson said he does not intend to ask McCooney to shut down the business.

Lynn Harmon, who has lived three doors from 552 Industrial Drive since November, did not find out until Wednesday that a sexual offender lived there.

(News researcher Lamara Williams-Hackett contributed to this report.)

Staff writer Thomasi McDonald can be reached at 829-4533 or thomasi.mcdonald@newsobserver.com.

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