Author Topic: High Frontier - Fort Davis - Texas - Investigation Thread  (Read 212 times)

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High Frontier - Fort Davis - Texas - Investigation Thread
« on: August 07, 2021, 04:13:23 AM »
It seems that a boy was injured running away while having been placed at the facility some years back.

This is what was written in an article

Quote from: Pecos Enterprise
Teen runaway hospitalized, three remain jailed
By JON FULBRIGHT, Staff Writer

PECOS, Tues., April 30, 2002 -- One teenage boy is in an Odessa hospital, a second is in a  Midland juvenile center and two teen girls are in custody of Presidio  County officials in Marfa after they ran away from the High Frontier  Children's Ranch in Fort Davis on Sunday and later stole prescription drugs and  a rifle from a rural Jeff Davis County home.

The teen was hospitalized after taking the prescription drugs mixed with alcohol that they found inside the home, according to Joe Balderrama, Jeff Davis County Chief Deputy who assisted in his capture Sunday night.

Balderrama said he received a report at 4 a.m. Sunday that the four teens had runaway from the High Frontier Ranch, and then conducted a search of the area, assisted by Department of Public Safety trooper Rhyan Drodch. The deputy said they were unable to locate the teens during the day, but at 9:30 p.m. he said the sheriff's department received a call that the four had been spotted hiding out at the Point of Rocks rest area on State Highway 166, 11 miles southwest of Fort Davis.

"I contacted Drodch and told him the four runaways were reported at that location," Balderrama said. The two then drove out to the site and entered the rest area from opposite ends.

"The plan was to start walking towards each other, but about 30 seconds later I heard the trooper yelling to `put your hands up where I can see them,'" the deputy said. Two of the four teens were able to run off, while one, who was standing next to a .22 caliber rifle, was pepper sprayed by Drodch when he failed to comply.

"We found the rifle had live ammunition in it," Balderrama said, and when the male teen, later identified as Carlos Anthony Soto, 18, became aggressive and combative, he was again hit with pepper spray.

Along with Soto, a female was also apprehended at the rest area. Balderrama said the girl, identified as Aliza Hirsh, 17, had a driver's license that failed to match up either with her or Soto. A check later revealed it belonged to the owner of the house from where the rifle had been stolen.

After contacting the owner of the home, which was located about a quarter mile behind the rest area, Balderrama said it was reported that a .22 caliber automatic pistol and a camera were also stolen. As a result, three other DPS troopers from Alpine and four U.S. Border Patrol agents from Marfa with night vision equipment were also called out to assist in the search for the two remaining teenagers.

A DPS helicopter with night vision equipment was also flown down from Midland. "It flew around the Point of Rocks area for about 30 to 45 minutes when it picked up movement with its infrared equipment," Balderrama said. Using the information, officers on the ground were able to locate the other two teens and take them into custody.

The deputy said that the second girl apprehended, identified as Natalie Matts, 18, told them the other teen, a 16-year-old boy whose name was not released, had thought about taking the pistol from the home, but did not do so. A later check of the home by the owner turned up the pistol, Balderrama said.

Matts, Hirsh and the 16-year-old were taken into custody, while Soto was transported to Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine after it was determined he had stolen prescription drugs from the home, and taken them with alcohol. "He took all three medications and ground them up and took them with the alcohol, so he almost overdosed," Balderrama said. "He continued to get worse, so he was taken to Odessa Medical Center."

Soto was in stable condition at the Odessa hospital.

The two girls and the juvenile have been charged with Burglary of a habitation, and Soto will face the same charge when he is released from the hospital, Balderrama said. He'll be returned to the Presidio County Jail in Marfa, while the 16-year-old is being kept at the Midland County Juvenile Detention Center.


Here are some testimonies from Yelp:

Quote from: DaMenezFam J.
Where do I even start the High Frontier is one of the worst places I've been to and for y'all to say it was a couple of girls that went off rails that cost that place is shut down is wrong I was at the High Frontier in 2019 to when I got there things were okay but then it started going downhill what I started finding out the truth about the High Frontier the High Frontier sexually mentally physically emotionally abused the girls and if it wasn't for those girls it would still be happening there were young girls who were sent there for help but didn't get the help they needed because the High Frontier destroyed them I was sent to the heart Frontier to get treatment because I was a runaway I did drugs I did alcohol I had to live by myself on the street because that's what I thought was best for me I was the same as everybody else there that was going through problems but for someone to say that this place was great I'm going to let you say that cuz that's your opinion your family got treated right but you also will know the CPS kids were treated poorly and if I was to bring together a group of kids to talk about the trauma that was After High Frontier you would soon realize did this place was a horrible place I will go ahead and say did I am one of those few girls one of those few girls did y'all say that run off the rails and cause problems I did not kill that dog star was the best dog there and for you to say that we did that isn't fair were you there when it happened we left that dog so many times we told her to go back of course she doesn't listen cuz she's a dog but we took care of star so for you to say shame on us did you hear the comments that were said that it should have been those girls inside of the dog you know what it was some of the girls girls are bleeding out in the restrooms waiting because don'ts to call for help because you're scared that this place is going to shut down this would have been so much different if you would have listened and tucked in our opinions Not only was I sexually abused mentally and physically but so were other girls now don't get me wrong the High Frontier did helping ways and there's some staff that deserve to be there there was just some staff that should never work with kids if the settings were right in the people were respectful then there wouldn't have been problems so y'all are horrible people for saying these things about us

Quote from: Bee M.
This is not the place to send your child. As a family member of someone sent here, I can not express the trauma from sexual assault, isolation, etc that occurred within these walls. This place does not "fix" your child's issues. My family member came back and shortly after was diagnosed with CPTSD from what happened here.

Quote from: Olive R.
This "school" created havoc in my brain. I was here for 4 years!!! This idea that I can trust other "peers" is just not a realistic idea. The outline of a daily routine at this place was just horrible. I, and many others, put up a HUGE front just to make it through the day. There were quite a few of us who would get hurt and receive a punishment for it. We were never allowed to speak to the opposite gender in a realistic setting. Everyone was eventually going to be put on some medication. So much chaos there. I survived, but it's still in my head.

Quote from: Mary A
They are the worst!!!  Dale is a Coward & does not get involved in anything.  Ronnie The " counselor" is burned out & needs to quit!!!  At least quit skimming money from the parents!!!   He owes me 52.00 for about a Year Now & won't give me my money back but did offer Not to charge me for The Free lodging on the premises for the parents.   Did you all catch that..... it's "Free" but for me he would wave the 50.00 charge!!    He also started sending back all the care packages I sent my son!!   But he would tell me my son got the package.  My son would say No he did not & The package will arrive at my house.   Ronnie is an evil spiteful man.   Needless to say we took our son out of that rat hole Ronnie runs

Quote from: Mary C.
The High Frontier just keeps going down hill and they have NO RESPECT for parents!  They take a FULL BLAME THE PARENTS for they way the kids are and PUNISH THE PARENTS!!!
I waited 2 MONTHS to see my son who had made NO Good change but BAD change.  He learned how to Fight!  He's sneakier and he cries a lot.  I was with him for 2 Days with no one around!  And Nothing to do!  It was Great in the being because we talked like Crazy!!!  But the 2nd day was awful because my son didn't want me to leave without him.  I left him standing in a parking lot CRYING & Shaking AND NO ONE WAS THERE FOR HIM!  NO STAFF!!!   I was sick!!!

The food is SLOP!  Pizza & fruit loops for breakfast!!!!!   For growning teens!!!!

The worst 2 days later my son's Theropist Ronnie, the one in charge of MY SON called me and YELLED AND SCREAMED AT ME!!!!!!  I was in my Realtor's Office & put Ronnie on Speaker Phone so that ALL the Realtors could hear how UNprofessional He Was!!!!  This man went to school for this and has been working with kids for over 20 years and here he was SCREAMING at ME!!!   Telling me he was NO LONGER going to call me weekly!  That he was only going to write me a note.  He was punishing me!!!!!!!!  I'm 50!!!  And he was punishing me!!!  He's the professional and should know how to calmly handle ANY sitution.  If not, QUIT!!!!  But he was Yelling and out of control!!!!!  Because he should have been with my son & I especailly on the last day when I was leaving.  Someone should have been with us!!  no parent and child likes to separate again for another 2 months!!!!!  Even I know that and I didn't have to go 5 yrs of school to learn it! 
The Realtors are now all afraid for my son who is stuck in the High Frontier!!!!!

Quote from: Margot R.
I was sent to High Frontier at the age of 16 after attending a wilderness rehabilitation center for three months. When I first arrived at High Frontier, I had a positive outlook because I wanted to be the best person I could possibly be and become better from who I once was. That was before I got out of the car. My first night there was truly traumatizing (and so was the rest of my stay). The students and staff especially were very insensitive about the way I felt, the dorms were TRASH (I am in NO way exaggerating, they looked fine from the outside but from the inside it looked like an abandoned, moldy (it had mold)and weather beaten home; they never let the parents inside the dorms... wonder why!), I had severe depression and no one helped. PPC is not a positive way of helping someone grow. It's basically sitting in a group of people where you are begging for help and they criticize you for everything and shut you down instead of helping you. They point out your negative characteristics and don't provide you with explanations of how to work on them. They just criticize and bully. It made me feel so bad about myself which led my self-worth and esteem to be at an all time low. All I wanted was help and they provided me with an unlimited amount of hurt. At High Frontier, I was taught to fear people and their abuse. I was taught to never trust people. I was taught to stay silent and let the mental and physical abuse push me to the edge. The staff would be very rude and careless towards our well being. When students misbehaved, they would put them in restraints that were much more brutal then they had to be. I was never personally put into restraint but after witnessing my peers go through this, I can say with full confidence the treatment was inhumane. There were fights every day, constant bullying, harassment, runaways, and true unfairness. The staff would obviously pick favorites, so I learned how to mask my true personality because at this point I was willing to be anyone they wanted me to be so I could get out of there and feel safe for once in a long while. They pushed us to the edge and the staff and peers provoked us to act out so they could file reports. All High Frontier truly cares about is money. We did not have therapy sessions, we had a five minute intervention with our group (the ones where I mentioned the constant brutal and unnecessary criticism). Once a week, we would meet with our therapists and have an hour and a half long intervention focused on one person's problems while everyone else sat there and tried to help. The help was fake, it was all for a show so the staff could see we were "growing" and "flourishing" into being who they wanted us to be. It wasn't about bringing out our full potential or being our best selves. It was about being exactly who they want you to be. This place will anger me forever. Throughout my time here, I forgot who I really was because I had to fake it for so long. I became someone who lost their true identity and I felt so alone because all of my real opinions and real thoughts were brainwashed out of me. No one was there for us. All anyone wanted was to get out of that Hell hole. Excuse my language, but I swear I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. The High Frontier is the WORST thing that EVER happened to me. We worked for hours in the hot Texas sun and got paid $1.50 for every hour we worked. My ultimate goal was to save up all that money so I could move out of there the day I turned 18. I truly believe that if my mother had sent me to a better place I would've definitely acquired the coping skills that I desperately needed at the time. In my experience, The High Frontier brain washes children into believing that they are responsible for all of the trauma that happened to them. They said we are not "victims" of trauma, we are the reason it happened to us. During my stay at The High Frontier, I got an extremely bad rash that looked like very dark purple splotches and no medical care was provided even after months of complaining and writing requests for a visit to the doctor. My ankles began to swell up and hurt very badly (to the point where it was difficult to walk), the rash spread, and I developed chronic joint pain. After three months of dealing with this ignored illness, my mother came out for a visit. She immediately saw how brutal and raw my rash was and requested to take me home immediately so I could receive professional medical help. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Lupus. The doctors said they have NEVER seen anything like this. Before diagnosing me, they ran countless tests. The immense stress and anxiety that I had at The High Frontier aroused an underlying condition that I had. The doctors say that if I hadn't experienced this amount of stress, my Lupus would have appeared maybe later on in my life. I have never returned to HF since. I am 18 today, It has been two years and my trauma from being at HF still effects me everyday.

Quote from: Anna T.
I was sent here as a child and had a terrible experience. Most of the staff has no business being around children... I still can't trust people after the experience. I think that if my parents had found a better place for me I would have actually learned some coping skills and maybe worked through my problems instead of learning to fear people and their abuse. :( There are other great programs out there, but this is not one of them.