Md. man sentenced for leaving special needs man inside a van that was stolen

An Upper Marlboro, Maryland, man has been sentenced to six months in jail after police said he neglected to tell police a special needs man he was caring for was inside a stolen vehicle. That man was later found barefoot by police in the middle of the Capital Beltway.

Prosecutors said Kelly Barry, 25, said he was using the van for a side hustle, while he was being paid to take the man who was autistic and nonverbal on an outing.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, it was on Oct. 19, 2022, that Barry picked up the man from an adult care facility in Rockville. Barry’s job was to take the man on an outing, such as bowling, but instead, prosecutors said he drove the organization’s van to D.C. and used it to deliver Uber Eats orders while the man was inside the van.

After his fifth delivery, the van was stolen with the man still inside in Northeast. Barry, according to court documents, called 911 but never said the man was inside. Investigators said that Barry only said he hoped the vehicle would be located fast.

Prosecutors said that detail was also left out of a second call to police, after his employer from the adult care facility told him to call police back and tell them.

The man who was inside the van was later found by Prince George’s County police barefoot and wandering in the middle of Interstate 495. According to court records, the man’s sister said her brother who was normally “very happy” was anxious, scared and nervous in the days following what happened.

The sentence, which includes some suspended jail time, comes after Barry pleaded guilty to one count of criminal negligence of a vulnerable adult in D.C. Superior Court.

Barry was also sentenced to 14 months of supervised probation and is prohibited from working with anyone who cannot care for themselves, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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