AP NEWS

Kingwood Pines CEO says no one ‘critically injured’ during teen riot

December 21, 2018

An executive at a northeast Harris County psychiatric hospital says no one was “critically injured” after several teen patients staged a riot that prompted an employee to call authorities for help.

Kingwood Pines Hospital CEO Shanti Carter characterized the fracas Saturday night as a “disruption caused by a group of patients on our Adolescent Unit,” according to a statement sent to the Houston Chronicle late Wednesday.

She did not say how many patients or staff members, if any, suffered less-than critical injuries.

At least one Houston Police Department officer was dispatched around 8:30 p.m. to the 116-bed facility at 2001 Ladbrook Drive after an employee called 911 to report that several boys and girls were destroying equipment and attacking staff members.

An officer did not enter the unit after he was asked by hospital staff to relinquish his weapon, according to police radio traffic. He believed “property damage” was unfolding inside.

Carter said in her statement that an employee called police and that staff then requested that police not enter the unit with their weapons.

This week, HPD spokesman Kese Smith said the police response is under investigation.

HPD’s “Responding to the Mentally Ill: A Guide for Texas Peace Officers” states that officers should not “give up or secure his/her firearm” while responding to calls at hospitals or mental health facilities.

One employee described the incident as a riot, with patients breaking computers and attacking staff members. Another staffer said she was jumped by a teen patient during the two-hour-long ordeal.

The employees requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs.

The facility, which is owned by the for-profit medical chain Universal Health Services, treats adults and children with behavioral issues that include self-harm, depression and suicide attempts. The Kingwood facility has faced at least two lawsuits alleging that patients sexually assaulted two female patients, including a 13-year-old struggling with depression.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

@nkhensley

AP RADIO
Update hourly