The Arizona Daily Star, March 6, 1998
Girl suffocates during restraint
Edith Campos, 15, of San Ysidro, Calif., died Feb. 4, two days after she stopped breathing after a psychiatric worker ``laid over'' her to restrain her at Desert Hills Center for Youth and Families, 2797 N. Introspect Drive, according to a Child Protective Services report.
A final autopsy report is pending and several agencies are investigating her death.
Desert Hills' current owner, Youth and Family Centered Services of Austin, Texas, took over the facility Nov. 1. The company pointed out that not all the incidents listed here happened under its management.
Desert Hills' previous owner, Youth Services International, bought the two Tucson facilities in October 1996. The original owners of Desert Hills called their company Introspect Healthcare Corp.
Other documented incidents in which teens were injured at Desert Hills include:
- A 14-year-old Show Low girl who suffered a broken vertebra after being physically restrained on Jan. 13, according to a search warrant affidavit filed Feb. 27 by Tucson police.
- A 14-year-old Tucson girl whose parents pulled her from Desert Hills in January after she almost lost consciousness during a restraint, according to a police report.
- Angel Almanzar, 16, of El Paso, whose left arm was fractured as workers attempted to restrain him on June 27, according to a Sheriff's Department report. CPS ruled the injury was accidental but reported concerns about the incident, including its finding that the worker who grasped the boy's arm had not been trained in restraints.
Child Protective Services also ruled that five Desert Hills incidents constituted child abuse, according to records released to The Arizona Daily Star through a court order:
- A girl, age unknown, suffered injuries to her nose, mouth and back after a technician restained her, threatening to ``drop her to the ground like a sack of potatoes,'' in November 1995.
- A boy, age unknown, suffered pain in his back, jaw and neck after being pinned to the ground by a psychiatric technician who pushed his knee into the boy's neck in January 1994.
- In October 1993, a boy, age unknown, suffered lacerations and permanent scars to his face, neck and shoulder after being dragged across the carpet by a psych tech who repeatedly yelled, ``You want to try me? Go ahead and try me.''
- In January 1994, a boy was restrained and suffered emotional trauma after being restrained for not talking about why he tried to run away. The restraint invoked memories of when the boy was raped at another facility.
- In February 1994, the same boy was restrained by a female psychiatric technician who ripped his underwear. ``His clothing was torn, he was half naked and people were on top of him,'' CPS wrote.