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Fla. Home for Troubled Boys Closes

June 10, 2003

OVIEDO, Fla. (AP) _ Investigators have closed a group home for troubled boys while they look into allegations that residents dropped a housemate into a septic tank and forced him to sit without pants on a fire ant mound.

The 13-year-old boy, who suffered a broken shoulder and fire-ant bites, was removed from the Teen Transformation Ministries group home Friday by his mother. The remaining four boys, ages 13 to 15, were returned to their parents by the sheriff’s department.

The home, which has operated for 17 years, deals with boys with severe behavioral problems, executive director Bennie Richardson said.

The sheriff’s report indicates the boy complained of the shoulder injury, suffered about two weeks ago while wrestling, and was not given medical attention. Richardson said he was not aware the boy had been hurt.

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