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Care worker arrested for abuse in Waterloo
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Care worker arrested for abuse in Waterloo

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WATERLOO — A Waterloo care worker has been arrested for allegedly abusing an autistic man under her care.

Court records allege Dzenifa Kostic, 32, held down the 19-year-old man and slapped him.

Dzenifa Kostic

Dzenifa Kostic

The man was a client of Julian Unleashed, the company running the assisted living home on Coachman Drive where he stayed. It wasn’t clear when the incident happened.

Police were notified Friday after the man’s mother apparently received a video of the incident from an unknown source.

The video shows a woman on top of the victim, who is seated on a couch, with her forearm against the man’s neck and collarbone. She then stands him up, slaps his face twice and grabs his throat.

A still photo attached to the post shows the man seated on the floor facing down with the woman standing over him, his head between her legs.

When police interviewed Kostic, a Julian Unleashed employee, she said she had been trying to control the man, who was smacking and choking himself and putting his hand down his throat, according to court records.

She told officers she was holding the man down to keep him from breaking windows, records state. She said she didn’t intend to hurt anyone and wasn’t getting any assistance from other staff, records state.

Kostic, of 1126 Bertch Ave., was arrested Saturday on one count of wanton neglect of a dependent adult. She was released from jail pending trial.

Julian Unleashed terminated Kostic, according to a statement on the organization’s Facebook page. The post said senior staff made a mandatory reporter call about the incident Friday night and talked with police.

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