Driver leaves disabled woman locked inside medical transport van, deputies say
Victim locked in van for more than 4 hours
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A man who works as a medical transport van driver was arrested Wednesday, days after he left a disabled woman locked inside his van for more than four hours, authorities said.
According to an arrest report, Oscar Dorador, 38, of Deerfield Beach, picked up Carol Roberson, 57, from a dialysis appointment around 6 p.m. Thursday and drove her to his apartment complex instead of the nursing home where she lives.
"I started screaming, 'Take me home. Take me home. I don't belong here,'" Roberson told Local 10 News investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier.
Roberson's daughter was notified just after 10 p.m. Thursday by her mother's nursing home that Roberson had not returned from her appointment.
Deputies said Dorador provided his company with a false address for his final drop-off location, which made it difficult for authorities to locate the victim.
Roberson was eventually found at 11 p.m., sitting in Dorador's locked van near the clubhouse of his apartment complex.
"I was sweating. I needed help," Roberson said.
According to the arrest report, deputies found Dorador and he immediately unlocked the van and freed Roberson, who told authorities that she can't walk and was strapped in a seat belt.
"It makes me feel as if he wanted her to die in there or something," Roberson's daughter, Shakira Breedlove, said.
Deputies said Roberson has difficultly speaking but appeared to be aware of her surroundings. They said she can't walk, is partly blind, has kidney issues and uses a wheelchair.
She told deputies Dorador drove her to his home instead of the facility where she lives and his children were laughing at her and knocking on the van.
She said she was scared, hot and hungry throughout the ordeal.
According to the report, Dorador told deputies he picked up Roberson from her appointment at 6 p.m. and arrived home around 6:45 p.m., forgetting she was in the van.
Authorities said the van was turned off, its doors were locked and its windows were up for the entire time Roberson was alone in the vehicle.
She was taken to a hospital after she was freed from the van to be evaluated, but appeared to be OK, deputies said.
Breedlove said she immediately called LogistiCare in Miami Lakes.
LogistiCare is a nationwide company that is a transportation broker for Medicare. The company had contracted with Ready 2 Transport in Hialeah for Roberson's transportation services.
"I spent almost there hours with them on the phone," Breedlove said. "They had no idea who had her -- none whatsoever."
LogistiCare released a statement Thursday to Local 10 News, saying Dorador has been removed from its network.
"We apologize to Ms. Roberson for the issue she experienced. The driver has been removed from our network and is not allowed to transport any LogistiCare members," the company said in a statement. "We will cooperate with any investigation by law enforcement, as the integrity of the program and safety of our riders is paramount and behavior that puts them at risk is not tolerated. Once our investigation is complete, we will implement further corrective actions with the transportation provider, if needed. We understand that every member and every ride matters and are committed to meeting Ms. Roberson's transportation needs."
Breedlove said deputies arrived to the driver's apartment complex after a security guard heard her mother's cries for help and called 911.
Roberson's attorney said the security guard is a hero.
Dorador was arrested Wednesday on a charge of neglecting an elderly disabled adult without great bodily harm. He is being held in lieu of a $15,000 bond.
Roberson's family has since hired an attorney.
"This could easily be any of our parents or grandparents," attorney Blake Dolman said. "You have two parties that dropped the ball -- the transportation broker, LogistiCare, which is huge national corporation, and the van company."
Dolman said with GPS tracking, this never should have happened.
"They should know at all times where that vehicle is, where it is heading, what the speed is and also how many occupants are in it," Dolman said.
The incident has changed Roberson's life. She said she refuses to be alone or get in a van again.
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