VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – Sheriff’s deputies have arrested a 49-year-old live-in caretaker and charged him with abusing a disabled adult in DeBary after the victim stated he was battered, verbally threatened and prevented from leaving his home.
According to authorities, Ryan Ganim, 49, is described as a family friend who cares for a disabled couple at their home and has power of attorney. The husband is 73, legally blind and has diminished hearing. He and his wife, who is 79, have lived with Ganim for seven years so he can care for the couple at their home on Columbine Trail.
The male victim told deputies he and Ganim argued early Saturday because the victim’s incontinent dog had soiled in the house. The argument escalated when Ganim struck the victim on the side of his head with his fist, struck the couch with an unknown object that made a loud noise, and threatened to cut the victim’s head off.
Ganim then struck the victim’s right forearm with what felt like a baseball bat. The victim stood up to leave but Ganim then took a rope that hung from the ceiling, commonly used for physical therapy, and wrapped it around the victim’s neck briefly before letting go. The victim finally escaped Ganim’s grasp and was trying to leave the house, but when he did, he discovered that Ganim had screwed the front door shut to prevent the victim from leaving.
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So the disabled man managed to crawl out the back of the house and through a gate, a path unfamiliar to him. He walked to a neighbor’s home and asked them to call law enforcement. Deputies observed the victim’s right forearm was red and had dried blood on it, but he did not require medical attention.
Deputies spoke with Ganim, who denied striking the victim in any way and said the victim’s wife “is like a mother to” him. Ganim stated he screwed the front door shut to prevent the victim from “wandering.” During a search of Gamin, a deputy found a pair of metal pliers that had a small amount of blood on them and may have been used to strike the victim’s forearm.
Ganim was charged with abuse of an elderly/disabled adult without great harm and false imprisonment, both felonies. He was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail and has since been released on pretrial supervision.
Florida law requires the reporting of known or suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect of vulnerable adults (elderly or disabled). The Florida Abuse Hotline receives reports 24 hours a day. Call 1-800-962-2873 or 1-800-96-ABUSE. Report online at https://reportabuse.dcf.state.fl.us. If you suspect or know of a vulnerable adult in immediate danger, call 911.