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Bemidji man charged with beating developmentally disabled resident at group home

BEMIDJI, Minn.-- A group home employee was charged with third-degree assault Wednesday after allegedly hitting a developmentally disabled resident in the face and also fracturing his rib.

Connor Michael Shea, 27, was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 27, one day after the alleged assault. He appeared in court Wednesday morning and has since been released from the Beltrami County Jail.

According to a criminal complaint: The REM home at which Shea worked called police Feb. 26 to report the assault. Shea had assaulted he victim, who was also nonverbal and wheelchair bound, early Monday morning.

According to REM employees, the victim is also weak due to their disabilities. When the victim was taken to a walk-in clinic, investigators saw multiple dark bruises and scratches, including “significant” bruises on the right side of the victim’s chest, face and lip.

During a later hospital trip, doctors discovered that the victim had a fractured rib.

During an internal investigation, Shea admitted that he “bopped” the victim several times, and told a program coordinator that he was quitting.

While speaking with investigators at his home, Shea told law enforcement that the victim had started yelling, and had grabbed him twice. Shea said he hit the victim three times in the face, then leaned over and placed his forearm across the victim’s chest and used his body weight to hold the victim down. Shea weighs more than 350 pounds, according to court documents.

Shea is scheduled to appear in court March 12.

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