Skip to main content

TribBlog: A Death At Daystar

A 16-year-old boy has died of an apparent restraint-related asphyxiation at the Daystar Residential Treatment Center, the same facility where children with disabilities were forced to fight each other a couple of years ago.

Lead image for this article

A 16-year-old boy has died of an apparent restraint-related asphyxiation at the Daystar Residential Treatment Center, the same facility where children with disabilities were forced to fight each other a couple of years ago.

Michael Owens died Friday night after he stopped breathing at the Manvel facility, outside of Houston. A monitor who was ordered to the facility in light of the forced fights has since left Daystar and was not there when the death occurred, according to the Houston Chronicle

A news release indicates Brazoria County authorities are conducting an investigation into the child's death. Daystar attorney John Carsey said he hadn't heard about Friday's death. "That's news to me," he said.

Earlier this year, the Tribune and the Houston Chronicle revealed that workers at Daystar provoked seven developmentally disabled girls into a fight of biting and bruising as staffers laughed, cheered and promised the winners after-school snacks.

The fight was one of more than 250 incidents of confirmed abuse and mistreatment in residential treatment centers during the past two years, based on the Tribune/Chronicle review of state records.

Quality journalism doesn't come free

Yes, I'll donate today