Naples treatment center suspected of 'homeless dumping' in Sarasota

- A man who found himself in Sarasota said he had never been there and never had plans to visit, but a substance abuse and mental health facility in Naples dropped him off and left him there.

With his small suitcase and a cardboard box, Chad Stacy told his disturbing tale to Sarasota police.

"They surrounded me, threatened to call the police if I didn't get my stuff and go," he told Sarasota Police Lt. Lori Jaress.

"Where did they tell you you were going?" she asked.

He responded, "Sarasota, to be homeless at the Salvation Army."

According to a Sarasota police report, Stacy was a patient at The Willough at Naples. The Willough is a treatment center for adults with substance abuse and mental issues.

Stacy told police, when it was time to check out, he was taken two counties away and left in Sarasota.

"This individual was literally taken from a crisis situation and just dumped on the streets," Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin told FOX 13 News.

Barwin said rumors of "homeless dumping" have circulated in the past, but Stacy's is the first case he's heard about first-hand.

Police said a Willough staff member told investigators it is common practice to transport patients, at their request, to "Sarasota, Miami or Orlando" for various recovery programs, but Stacy said he never wanted to be in Sarasota.

Hed told police the Willough brought him to the Salvation Army in Sarasota because that was where services were offered, but once he tried checking in, he was turned away because he was a registered sex offender.

"The issue is, we can lose people like that on the streets for years. That's one of our greatest concerns," said Major Ethan Frizzell with the Salvation Army.

With the help of the Salvation Army, Stacy returned home to Ohio, but for the city of Sarasota, this isn't over yet.

"It isn't fair for one community to dump on another, and it isn't fair to the individuals. And we aren't resolving these cases," said Barwin.

The city filed a complaint against The Willough and promised to get to the bottom of Chad Stacy's claims. After the first complaint was filed, another patient came forward with a similar story. A second claim has since been filed.

The Willough did not return FOX 13 New's calls for comments on the story.

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