Director of Boot Camp Said Faced Probe

Associated Press/July 4, 2001

Phoenix -- The director of the disciplinary "boot camp" where a 14-year-old boy died was investigated last year for alleged child abuse at a similar camp he ran, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

Charles Long was in charge of the America's Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors Association camp near Buckeye, where Anthony Haynes died Sunday. The cause of his death hasn't been determined. Authorities said they are treating the death as suspicious and are awaiting autopsy results.

Last year, Long ran a Fort Apache Reservation camp where youths complained they were kicked and choked by drill instructors, the newspaper reported. No charges were filed in that instance.

FBI spokesman Ed Hall told the Republic his agency forwarded results of its investigation to the U.S. attorney's office, which declined to pursue the case. The Justice Department also declined to pursue possible civil rights violations.

Police records also show Long was arrested in 1989 after using a sledgehammer to break down the door of a residence occupied by his ex-girlfriend, the newspaper reported. He was arrested again in 1991 for punching the woman during a dispute over their 3-year-old son, the newspaper said. He was fined and put on probation.

On Tuesday, Long did not show up for a scheduled meeting with parents of children in the Buffalo Soldiers' camp, about 40 miles west of Phoenix. Haynes' mother, Melanie Hudson, said the camp director told her Anthony had eaten dirt and refused to drink water.

The private group that runs the camp referred calls to attorney Larry Hammond, who did not return calls Tuesday. In an interview Tuesday with KSAZ-TV, Long said: "Our camp is a rough camp, but we endure it. When the facts come out about what happened, it's not the components of this program that's the problem."

The camp's regimen included forced marches, black uniforms, and a diet consisting of an apple for breakfast, a carrot for lunch and a bowl of beans for dinner.

Authorities said the children slept outdoors in sleeping bags on concrete slabs and had been under the supervision of 17- and 18-year-old staff members since at least Wednesday. No medical personnel were at the camp. "If you do have this type of environment, you have to make sure it's humane," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.

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