MINDEN, La. (WAFB) - The State of Louisiana and a sergeant previously employed with the Louisiana Youth Challenge Program (YCP) are named in an excessive force lawsuit filed in the 19th Judicial District Courthouse that states a cadet was subjected to severe physical punishment while in the program.
A spokesperson for the YCP says the sergeant, Rico Haulcy, was terminated following an investigation.
The lawsuit states a 16-year-old male entered into the YCP at Camp Minden in Minden, La. on Sunday, Feb. 17. The teen alleges he witnessed a cadet being choked until he was unconscious in a dining facility within the first two weeks of enrolling in the program, according to the lawsuit.
Later in March, the teen reportedly made a complaint against Haulcy after allegedly being slammed to the ground, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit states the teen reported Halucy after he “chicken-winged” him, meaning the sergeant allegedly pulled the teen’s arm behind his back and pinned it to his shoulder. The lawsuit states the action is a technique used to cause “extreme pain and submission.”
“These actions were in violation of the Youth Challenge Program’s ‘no-contact’ policy,” the lawsuit states.
Later, on Sunday, April 14, the teen’s mother was contacted by a nurse at Camp Minden who advised her the teen suffered a fractured orbital socket and was in treatment, according to the filing.
The lawsuit goes on to say the injury occurred after the Haulcy and one of his colleagues allegedly ordered about 50 cadets to perform 1,000 reps of an exercise called CAPE (corrective action physical exercise) as punishment for a “perceived transgression.” The exercise is described in the lawsuit as a “mass punishment.”
The teen reportedly performed 400 of the 1,000 reps before experiencing muscle failure. The lawsuit states the teen got up to walk away, after which he was ordered by Haulcy to walk in a different direction. As the teen walked past the sergeant, he was allegedly slammed to the ground, chased down, mounted, and repeatedly punched in the face.
The YCP spokesman said it was later learned the teen allegedly swung first.
According to the lawsuit, the teen received surgery for the injuries, but still suffers from double vision.
Joseph Long, the attorney representing the teen’s family, declined to provide further comment to WAFB.
The YCP spokesperson said agency officials fully cooperated with law enforcement and terminated Haulcy’s employment once it was discovered he allegedly violated the program’s policy.