WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A pair of employees that worked for a Northwest Arkansas psychiatrist at the center of multiple legal cases were arrested on abuse charges earlier this month.

Dr. Brian T. Hyatt of Rogers had his Medicaid billing privileges suspended on February 24 after the Arkansas Office of Medicaid Inspector General Elizabeth Smith reported allegations of fraud against the psychiatrist. Hyatt was also named as a defendant in multiple civil suits by former patients alleging him of false imprisonment, assault and other criminal acts.

Dr. Brian Hyatt

Two of Hyatt’s former employees were arrested on criminal charges earlier this month. Isaiah Morris, 53, was charged with two counts of abuse of an endangered or impaired person, with one being a class D felony and the other a class B misdemeanor.

Collyn Harlan, 28, was charged with one felony count of abuse of an endangered or impaired person. Court documents stated that both suspects committed the acts in question in March, 2022.

A felony information sheet for Morris filed in Washington County circuit court on March 3 said that he “purposely abused an adult endangered person and the abuse caused physical injury including rib fractures.” The second count was for purposeful abuse in slapping the victim across the face.

Harlan’s felony information sheet also alleges abuse including fracturing a victim’s ribs.

According to court documents, the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit received two anonymous complaints on May 11, 2022, regarding two different incidents of misconduct. One alleged that a patient was injured at Northwest Medical Center due to “misconduct by a mental health technician.”

The second complaint stated that a patient “was assaulted at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale.” The MFCU obtained information about these incidents via subpoenas.

Investigators discovered that during the first incident, on March 13, 2022, a patient was voluntarily admitted to the behavioral health unit for recurrent severe major depressive disorder. During the intake process, the victim was asked to remove clothing for a “skin assessment.”

The victim told staff that he was not comfortable doing this. According to an affidavit, surveillance video showed Morris and Harlan grabbing the victim’s arm, raising his feet off the floor and “forcefully” throwing him to the floor.

Documentation in the patient’s medical records said that he was “assisted to the floor for being noncompliant.”

Two other mental health technicians seen on video interacted with the victim during the intake process and said that he “did not show any signs of being physically aggressive during their interaction.” The victim began complaining of rib pain after the incident, and an x-ray taken two days later displayed fourth and fifth left-side rib fractures.

MFCU investigated a second incident from March 23, 2022, in which a patient was admitted to the behavioral health unit with a diagnosis of psychotic disorder and suicidal and homicidal ideations. Surveillance footage showed Morris slapping the victim while the patient was restrained in a chair.

That incident was not documented on the patient’s chart or reported to hospital administration or other staff. During an internal investigation interview, the Northwest Medical Center Human Resources director said that the victim “was not a physical threat to anyone, and there was no justification for slapping him.”

The civil suits filed against Hyatt in Washington County circuit court also named Northwest Arkansas Hospitals and multiple other unidentified hospital personnel as defendants. KNWA/FOX24 reached out to Northwest Health seeking more information about Morris’ and Harlan’s time as employees there.

“It is not our practice to comment on current or former employees,” said a Northwest Health spokesperson. “I am able to confirm these individuals have not been employees of our health system since April 2022.”

Harlan has a court appearance scheduled for March 22 and Morris will appear on March 27.