Two employees at a Lake Villa, Ill., residential treatment center for troubled youths are facing charges in the death of a 16-year-old resident after an altercation Wednesday night, CBS Chicago reports.
The resident, Shaquan Allen, was having behavioral issues at the Allendale Association residential treatment center as employees James Davis and Justin Serak were trying to get him to his room, according to the report.
“Officers were told by Allendale staff that the juvenile became unconscious during an effort to restrain him following a brief struggle,” Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville told the news station.
Detective Chris Covelli, with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, said Davis was holding the teen by the throat as Serak held his legs. Covelli said both employees lied to investigators, telling them that all three had slipped on water.
“It was later determined the water was caused by the defendants pouring water on the victim to attempt to wake him,” Covelli added.
There were reportedly 15 witnesses to the incident. Shaquan was determined to have died of asphyxiation because of being restrained, authorities said.
"It’s a tragic time for the family, and we can’t imagine the pain they’re going through right now," Covelli said.
Shaquan’s family said that they were told three different stories by Allendale staff regarding the boy’s death.
“I wanna know how could this happen to my baby, and nobody is telling me anything to let me know what’s really going on,” Shaquan’s mom, Willie Mae Allen, told the news station.
Willie Mae Allen said she had pushed for the teen, who was a ward of the state, to be admitted to the facility because she didn’t want to lose him to the streets, CBS Chicago notes.
Davis has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and obstruction, and State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim requested a $1 million bond in his case.
“We have a dead 16-year-old child, so I think a million dollars is appropriate,” he said.
Serak, who has been charged with obstruction, had his bond set at $50,000. Apparently, 911 was not called for 15 minutes, according to the report.
“Anytime you have a case like this it’s a tragedy, and that’s always compounded when you have a child,” Nerheim added.
Read more at CBS Chicago.