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Autistic child dies; aides charged with manslaughter

Two men who work for O.D. Heck Developmental Center in Schenectady have been charged in the negligent murder of an autistic 13-year old child who was a resident at Heck.

The two allegedly reported a medical emergency two hours after the child had been suffocated while being restrained in the back of the van they were transporting him in on Central Avenue in Colonie on Thursday, Feb. 15, authorities said.

Colonie police said Edwin Tirado, 35, and Nadeem Mall, 32, both of Schenectady, stopped at one of their homes to corroborate their stories before reporting the death of Jonathan Carey. The two were transporting Carey, who had a severe from of autism.

Carey was the alleged victim of abuse at the hands of employees of the Anderson School in Dutchess County in 2004.

His abuse is the focus of a civil suit his parents have brought against the school and a driving force behind proposed state legislation looking to open medical records and transcripts to parents and regulatory agencies to shine light onto the abuses of the developmentally disabled.

Spotlight Newspapers wrote about the Careys' efforts to enact legislation in a two-part series that appeared Jan. 31 and Feb. 7. Links to those articles appear at the bottom of this article.

Tirado and Mall were arraigned in Colonie Town Court Thursday on manslaughter charges and sent to Albany County jail pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Feb. 21.

According to police, Tirado, a six-year employee of the center, inappropriately restrained Carey to control him. Mall, who has been with the center for six months, was the driver of the vehicle.

The events that lead to Carey's death were no accident, said Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider.

We believe that the holds used in this were improper and directly led to this man stopping breathing, said Heider. "(They) were trained in what to do and what not to do. I can't say this was an accident."

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