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Director of San Bernardino-area group homes arrested [Updated]

September 15, 2009 |  6:22 pm
Investigators looking into charges of abuse at a collection of San Bernardino-area group homes arrested the director of one of the homes on Friday after discovering he was on probation for elder abuse and had been ordered to stay away from such facilities, officials said today.

Tony Dalton, 40, was taken into custody for violating conditions of his probation after initially refusing entry to investigators checking on conditions of the house, said San Bernardino City Atty. James Penman.

Dalton is the son of Pensri Sophar Dalton, 61, who was arrested Sept. 5 on 16 charges of elder abuse after police raided an unlicensed board and care facility where 22 elderly and mentally ill tenants lived in squalor. They had no plumbing, lived in converted backyard chicken coops and some used buckets for toilets. One man reported being physically abused by the staff.

Authorities are now looking into conditions at seven other group homes owned by Pensri Sophar Dalton in and around San Bernardino.


When investigators from the city attorney's office and the Department of Social Services went to two of the houses last week, they found Tony Dalton in charge, Penman said.

Dalton was convicted last year of causing great bodily harm to an elderly or dependent person and served three months in jail, Penman said. The probation department would not comment on the nature of the crime, but Dalton was forbidden to work as a caretaker for the elderly or dependent adults.

[Updated 8:02 p.m.: “He was obviously in charge of the facility,” Penman said. “We have a lot more to investigate and this certainly makes us suspicious. The fact that [Dalton’s] son is convicted of elder abuse and is still active in the family business is a real concern.”

Pensri Dalton is also the target of a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who drowned in a pool while living in one of her group homes.]


-- David Kelly

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