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Group home resident charged in screwdriver stabbing

Posted February 6, 2010
Updated February 7, 2010

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— Paramedics transported a resident of a state-regulated group home to WakeMed Saturday afternoon after he was stabbed more than 20 times with a screwdriver by another resident, Holly Springs police said.

Man stabbed with screwdriver at Holly Springs group home Man stabbed with screwdriver at group home

Gregory Henry McClain, 22, is accused of stabbing Stephan Abreu, 48, at about 2:30 p.m. at 229 Apple Drupe Way, a single-family house in the Windcrest subdivision.

Abreu suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated and released from WakeMed, police said.

McClain was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He was being held in the Wake County jail under a $1.5 million bond. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Holly Springs police have handled 17 calls for service involving the group home, called Vagap Health, since it opened last December, Police Capt. Mike Bornes said. The calls included 911 hang-ups, missing person reports and suspicious activity.

“We’ve been nervous about the kind of people that may have been living in the home before this,” neighbor Lisa Fisher said Saturday after hearing of the stabbing.

Some neighbors said they have seen group home residents wandering the streets unsupervised, asking for cigarettes.

Obi Achumba, owner of Vagap Health, said the stabbing was an unfortunate incident. He said that the home aims to help people with mental illness and that if residents choose to leave, the home does not have the authority to stop them.

“Most people don't like such facilities around their house, but we cannot ostracize these people. What they have is an illness that's not different from diabetes, hypertension,” Achumba said.

Police said Vagap Health has state authority to house up to six residents. The home is regulated and falls under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Health and Human Services, Bornes said.

Police have filed multiple complaints with DHHS contending inadequate supervision and management at the group home.

“Our officers with the police department have been concerned about it too, and we've been afraid something might happen,” said Mark Andrews, a public-information officer for Holly Springs.

Police Chief John Herring said Town Attorney John Schifano has been working with the department to gather information to support a court order to close the home. Herring said court papers could be filed as early as Monday.

DHHS spokesman Mark Van Sciver told WRAL News that the agency received the first complaint about Vagap Health on Jan. 14.

Investigators spent about a week in the home and determined that although there were some issues with supervision, no issue warranted suspending the facility's license. However, DHHS plans to launch another investigation after learning about Saturday's stabbing, Van Sciver said.

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