No Charges To Be Filed In Boy's "Basket Hold" Death

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express (subscribe)

INGRAM, TEXAS--Criminal charges will not be filed in connection to the death of a 12-year-old boy who died after being physically restrained at a residential treatment center.

A Kerr County grand jury on February 17 found no evidence of a crime in the December 4 death of Christening "Mikie" Garcia at Star Ranch.

The Kerryville Daily Times reported that Garcia, an "emotionally disturbed" youth, died after a worker restrained the boy with his arms across his chest and his hands held behind him, in what is called a "basket hold".

The Travis County Medical Examiner had ruled Garcia's death was the result of "suffocation during physical restraint."

Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer had said the boy had been placed in "time out" after refusing to obey staff orders, but that he started banging his own head against a concrete sidewalk, "so they had to restrain him."

The "experienced" staff member, whose name has not been disclosed, then held Garcia until he stopped breathing. Attempts to resuscitate the boy were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services placed Garcia at the facility, which houses youths with learning disabilities and emotional difficulties, after his parents gave up parental rights to him and his two siblings during a family crisis.

The department is conducting its own investigation into Star Ranch, which has been investigated five times in the past two years on allegations of abuse and neglect, including the inappropriate use of restraints and lack of supervision.

A Star Ranch spokesperson expressed thanks to the sheriff's office and the grand jury.

"We are grateful for the prayers," he told the Daily Times. "A lot of people have been very concerned for Star Ranch."

News powered by Inclusion Daily Express
Subscribe to Inclusion Daily

March 01, 2006 - InclusionDailyNews Department | Email this story


Comments (newest comments at bottom)

As a caregiver of special needs children I am APPALLED that a restraint such as a basket hold would be listed as a cause of death. There is no reason for his arms to be held so tightly around him that it would even impair his breathing, let alone cause him to suffocate. This place should be shut down IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!! And Texas wonders why its child protective system (HA! That's a laugh!) is in the condition it's in. Did a child really have to die for there to be a serious investiation of this place?

Posted by: Valerie on March 3, 2006 09:28 AM

I am so sick about the grand jury ruling. Here in the Texas Hill Country, our DA does not want to prosecute cases that are difficult. I don't consider this difficult, however anything less than a signed confession is so much more than this da will attempt. The whole thing has been wrong from the word "go". Unbelievable....

Posted by: mary on March 27, 2006 09:52 PM

Considering that I know what really happened in the case, I would rather hear the opinions on what they think happened. But I have to say that you people don't know what you are getting yourselves into when you make comments on how you feel this place needs to be shut down. Things have of course changed since December, and we received a private sent kid and will be welcoming 5 boys a month from the state. Don't be saying that this place needs to be shut. If the state wanted the place shut they would have done it, but they aren't going away. There wasn't much of an investigation anyway.

Posted by: Kristin on May 5, 2006 03:32 PM

To Kristin (above):

You write, "Considering that I know what really happened in the case..."

Yet you provide no specifics or details. If you have specific charges or information, please post it. Your current post does not provide any information that would suggest the institution has reformed.

You write, "you people don't know what you are getting yourselves into when you make comments on how you feel this place needs to be shut down. Things have of course changed since December . . "

Please provide specifics.

Posted by: teresa on May 6, 2006 11:40 AM

Kristin states above:

"Things have of course changed since December.."

lol... where have I heard that one before.. oh yea, Ingram Texas from the Star Ranch folks who feared we were going to sue them over my son's injury. We heard the same song and dance.. and I would have went after them so nothing like what occurred with my son would ever happen to another kid, but I didn't - as Jane the Boy's mom wouldn't allow it.

My son who has a mild form of autism attended summer camp at Star - and one year his wrist was broken. He tried to tell the folks about it but they wouldn't listen. He received no medical care. When we picked him up we had no idea.. till we were riding bikes together at Kerville St. Park and he complained.. and we noticed a bruised look. We took him to the hospital where his wrist was set in a cast.. we still have that cast ... I opposed him returning.. but his mother sent him anyway - and my fear level remained above high till we picked him up again. There is no way for your child ( despite that it's a summer camp - the aspect we used ) to contact the outside world if something happened.. or he just needed to talk.. a policy I always opposed.

No matter - why wasn't I surprised to learn other investigations have occured and now a death.

Under the flag of my faith ... no less.. I don't think "let's pray about it" should cut the mustard and now that I know - I will do all in my power to insure an investigation takes place based on the coroner's report.

Jane just read the article and GASPed. I wonder why?

Joe Oliver
3321 Rochdale
Houston, TX 77025

Posted by: Joe Oliver on May 10, 2006 05:57 PM

Well, since our last visit here, you may already be aware the the Star Ranch has been shut down by the State and all of the children were removed following the death of yet another child. I am just sick about the whole story. God Bless those babies.....

Posted by: MARY on June 5, 2006 11:19 AM

Post a comment

(your email address will not appear publicly)

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)

Recommend this story to a friend

To (email address):

Your email address:

Message (optional):