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Teen’s death is linked to boot-camp brutality

SHARE Teen’s death is linked to boot-camp brutality

PHOENIX — A teenager who died while at a boot camp for problem youngsters was forced to stand in sweltering heat as punishment for wanting to go home, then taken to a motel where, left alone, he vomited mud and drowned in a bathtub, according to a court document.

The autopsy for Anthony Haynes, 14, hasn't been released, but the document cited preliminary results showing he was dehydrated and died from drowning.

Haynes was attending a boot camp run by America's Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors Association outside Phoenix.

Campers told investigators that supervisors began beating them two days after the five-week camp started June 25, according to the affidavit the sheriff's office submitted for a search warrant of the camp founder's home and property. The campers said they were whipped, kicked, stomped on and forced to put mud in their mouths. On July 1, campers were asked whether they wanted to go home. Anthony and others who said yes were made to stand in the sun as punishment for being "quitters," the affidavit said. Temperatures reached 114 degrees that day.

Anthony began hallucinating and refused to drink water, the document said. When he became nonresponsive, camp supervisors took him to a motel and left him in the tub with the shower running.

They returned to find Anthony with his face in the water. The affidavit said supervisors were told to bring Anthony back to the camp because the camp director, Charles Long II, thought the child was faking.

When he was returned to the camp, he wasn't breathing. Camp supervisors called 911, but Anthony never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead later that night.

"If the child was disoriented and unaware of what was going on around him, why did they take him and put him in a bathtub and go off and leave him?" asked asks his father, Gettis L. Haynes Jr. of Hannibal, Mo.

The medical examiner's office would not comment on the affidavit because the case is pending, spokeswoman Gayle Millette said.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said detectives continue to investigate. "I'm not going to accuse anybody," he said.

Detectives seized more than 100 videotapes and files of the association when they searched Long's property July 6.

Neither Long nor any others associated with the camp have been charged with any crime related to the death. A man who answered the phone at Long's house referred calls to Long's attorney, David Burnell Smith, who didn't respond to a message Wednesday.