Most assault calls occur at youth behavioral facility
September 04, 2017 10:16 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Neighbors say they see police officers several times a week at a west side youth behavioral treatment facility. According to police calls acquired by KOB-TV, there were at least 27 assault and battery calls made at Desert Hills on Sequoia Road from the beginning of January until the end of May.
It’s the most for a single address in the entire city.
Police reports reveal that the youth provoke nearly all of the assaults. Sometimes staff members are the ones who are getting punched.
On April 1, 2017, police lapel video reveal staff members holding down a 16-year-old girl. Workers told police that the youth removed a clock from the wall and threw it. Then, staff members said, the teen tried to break the window using a piece of the clock. The girl allegedly bit a nurse’s wrist while she was being held down. Police took her into custody.
Neighbor Angelo Madrid once did pest control for the facility. He said the April incident is perhaps just one of many police visits.
"I would see the kids would act up and get in trouble a lot," Madrid said. "I would see the staff try to calm them down -- a lot of yelling, a lot of screaming."
Other neighbors have witnessed the chaos.
"The fire department came and I guess a youth was on top of the roof over there," said one neighbor, David Quintana. "I don't know how they got him down or what happened."
On Feb, 10, police had to measure bruises on a registered nurse and a health care worker after a 16-year-old boy allegedly attacked staff members with pieces of drywall. Staff claimed the youth ripped the drywall off of the walls himself.
On March 24, police had to visit Desert Hills again when two boys reportedly got into a fight. A police report reveals when staff members tried to restrain the two, 18 other boys and girls attacked the employees. Lapel video obtained by KOB-TV shows a kid throwing up a peace sign at officers once they showed up to the youth home.
KOB-TV asked Desert Hills administrators for an interview was told they could not comment. Neighbors worry that the adults at Desert Hills may be outnumbered.
"As far as how much staff they had, I would say they probably didn't have enough," Madrid said.
CYFD agency spokesperson Henry Varela said Desert Hills is licensed and state certified, and CYFD does annual reviews.
At this time, it is not clear what will be done about the numerous reports of youth assaulting staff.
Updated: September 04, 2017 10:16 PM
Created: September 04, 2017 07:52 PM
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