From the Times Ledger:
Residents of the Royal Ranch section of Glen Oaks said a group home for autistic teenagers has been a nightmare for the community ever since it opened in February.
One of the teens stabbed a worker at the home with a pen, while another snuck into a neighbor’s backyard and masturbated, residents said. Other problems include vandalized cars and increased traffic near the home at 70-25 267th St., they said.
“It was a quiet neighborhood,” said Cindy Markopoulous, who lives near the group home, where houses are valued close to $1 million. “Tough luck for us, I wish I knew. There’s a lot of problems.”
The group home is run by the city chapter of the Association for Help of Retarded Children, which could not be reached for comment.
Markopoulous accused AHRC of “bad management” for hiring workers who she said were not equipped to handle the six teenagers with autism who live at the home.
Since a community meeting was called three weeks ago to address issues at the group home, she said AHRC has not let the teens outside.
“Now they have them caged like Alcatraz,” Markopoulous said. “Not only are they caged in, we’re caged in. I won’t let my daughter go out and play by herself.”
She said she doubted the improved conditions in the neighborhood will last.
“They just want us to shut up,” she said.