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Texas school workers ran 'fight club' for the disabled
Stephen C. Webster
Published: Thursday March 12, 2009


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Authorities in Texas have issued arrest warrants for six employees of the Corpus Christi State School for the disabled after they were discovered running a "fight club" for the entertainment of staff.

The activity "was discovered by cops after investigators obtained cell phone videos showing the workers goading residents to brawl in common areas of dormitories at the state facility," reported The Smoking Gun, which has a copy of the arrest warrant.

"Five of the suspects – Timothy Dixon, 30; Jesse Salazar, 25; Guadalupe Delarosa, 21; Vince Johnson, 21; and Dangelo Riley, 22 – are charged with injury to a disabled person, a third-degree felony," reported the Dallas Morning News. "Their bail has been set at $30,000. A sixth suspect, 21-year-old Stephanie Garza, is charged with a state jail felony for allegedly failing to intervene in the fight clubs. Her bail is set at $15,000."

"Seven workers identified in the videos have been placed on emergency leave and four no longer work there, Laura Albrecht, a spokeswoman for the Department of Aging and Disability Services, said," reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

"The residents identified in the fights have been assessed and found to be free of injuries, Albrecht said," the paper reported.

"It was just horseplay," the Austin-American Statesman reported some officials tried to play the incident off as.

"I was disappointed that the agency solely responsible for the care of persons in state school settings would not be willing to recognize the severity of the situation,' said Corpus Christi State Representative Abel Herrero (D-Robstown).

"The abuse scandal broke a week ago when Dixon’s lost cell phone was turned over to Corpus Christi police, according to Capt. Tim Wilson," said the Houston Chronicle. "The images showed staff members 'encouraging different individuals to engage in physical contact,' the arrest affidavits stated.

"Dixon’s voice can be heard narrating the videos and is 'heard to encourage fighting.' Riley is seen on one video kicking a resident."

"These were deplorable, despicable, criminal actions that should not be tolerated, that are unacceptable," said Herrero.

"Officials say at least 20 videos found on a cell phone show several fights at the Corpus Christi facility dating back to 2007 — including one where a disabled resident raises his hands in victory after a bout," reported the Associated Press.

"The Corpus Christi facility, which houses 340 residents, is one of 13 institutions known as state schools, which have been the focus of a series of allegations of abuse and neglect."

The following video is from CNN, broadcast and posted to YouTube March 12.




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