‘Completely defenseless’: Caregiver in Brazoria Co. accused of starving, severely beating 51-year-old with Down Syndrome

PEARLAND, Texas – Starved and severely abused.

It’s what one Brazoria County woman said happened to her 51-year-old brother who has Down Syndrome, and it all allegedly happened at the hands of the man who was supposed to be taking care of him.

The woman took her brother to her home to recover after emergency surgery.

Maricel Spriggs decided to take over the full duties of being the caretaker for her brother Carlos Gonzalez, who is partially verbal, after she was made aware of the horrifying treatment he had been enduring.

Spriggs said she was forced to remove Gonzalez from the custody of the Special Graces Care Facility after learning his caretaker, Derrick Bass, was allegedly starving and beating him.

“He said ‘Lala,’ and I said ‘What?’ He said, ‘He hit me like this… he hit me like this.’ And he kept touching his stomach,” Spriggs said.

Spriggs said she believes the abuse began when Bass started working for the company at the end of last August and didn’t end until right before her brother was rushed to the hospital on May 3 because he became lethargic.

“At first, he was like, he didn’t want to tell me. And I said, ‘It’s not going to happen again,’” she explained. “His spine had been broken at T12, T11 and L2, broken ribs, and his face was on one side. And he had a stroke!”

Spriggs said she pressured Special Graces to investigate, and surveillance footage revealed the unthinkable.

“He’s beating his face into the table yelling at him, then beating his head into the back of the wood table. Dropping, picking him up, and slamming him down,” she said.

In addition to anger and frustration, Spriggs was more so baffled as to why?

“It’s no different than when somebody abuses and attacks a baby. He is completely, completely defenseless,” she said.

The good news is that Spriggs believes her brother will recover and said he will be doing so at her home.

Forced to take time off work as a teacher, she set up a GoFundMe to help with mounting medical costs.

As for Bass, a felony warrant was issued for his arrest for abuse against the elderly.

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