Blue Springs residents worry about safety of neighbor with developmental disabilities

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Sabrina Knoch is worried and frustrated.

She says twice in the last month a man with developmental disabilities, who lives near Knoch’s Blue Springs cul de sac, has walked away from his  home all alone -- even though a local company is supposed to be caring for him.

“It’s supposed to be supervised all the time, but you can never tell. My concerns ultimately are for the safety of this individual. His caregivers told me he’s in his 40s, but he has the mental capacity of a 3-year-old,” Knoch said.

She said on Aug. 10, her security camera caught the man banging on the hood of her new car.

”It started around 9:10 in the morning. He pounds on the car a couple of times, pulls his pants up and then hits it a couple of more times. It was very frustrating. I mean that’s my new car," Knoch said.

She said after damaging her vehicle, the man sat in her drive-way for 40 minutes before his caregivers came to get him.

Sabrina Knoch

”They didn’t even have the courtesy to tell me that he had beat on my car. They didn’t knock on my door. Actually, I had to find out from a neighbor. Now, his caregivers said they were standing at the door, and they could see him, but he sat here by himself,” Knoch said.

Last Friday, Knoch said the same man walked back onto her property by himself and pounded on her husband’s truck. A week ago her husband snapped a picture of the man sitting on the ground in his underwear.

Neighbors said for more than a year the guy has apparently escaped from his home through a front door.

”There have been times he sat there in the middle of the street angry, took his clothes off, threw his shoes off. I’m told he has fits when he wants a soda to drink. Ultimately, he was just sitting here all alone in his underwear. I just feel like, for his safety, he’s not being well take care of,” Knoch said.

FOX4 has learned the Missouri Department of Mental Health contracts with a private provider called S & S Development. The company offers support services for individuals who have developmental disabilities -- like the man caught on Knoch’s home videos.

On Wednesday, when FOX4’s Robert Townsend stopped by the company’s Blue Springs office, oddly enough, the door was open, but no one was inside the business.

Minutes later, a man and a woman rode up in a car outside. After the man locked the front door to S & S Development, FOX4 tried to ask him where owner Daniel Sagwagau was.

”I don’t know where he is,” the man said as he and the woman took off.

In the meantime, in a statement sent to FOX4, a spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Mental Health said the agency is “aware of the issues and is working with the provider to find the appropriate solution to the situation.”

A worried Knoch hopes that solution comes soon.

”What if he runs out into the street and gets hurt?” Knoch said.

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