DOVER, N.C. (WNCT) — The Craven County Sheriff’s Office has arrested and charged a Dover woman with five counts of assault on a disabled adult.

The Craven County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Bureau was notified on Oct. 21 of a physical abuse case involving a severely autistic adult at an alternative family living facility operated by Patricia Howard in her home. Investigators found multiple instances where the autistic adult was physically abused by Howard.

Howard, 57, of 3940 Dover Fort Barnwell Road in Dover, was arrested on Wednesday and also charged with two counts of communicating threats. She was being held in the Craven County Confinement Facility under a $175,000 secured bond.