Boot Camp goes over the line

Two instructors at a boot camp for troubled teens have been arrested in connection to physical abuse sustained by 11 juveniles who attended the camp. According to a LASD press release, Edgar Alvarado and Ruben Romero face multiple felony charges the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, including three counts of Willful Injury to a Child Causing Great Bodily Injury, and one count of Corporal Injury to a Child. Alvarado was also charged with one felony count of Sexual Battery while Romero accrued three additional misdemeanor counts of Battery.

Edgar Alvarado

Alvarado and Romero operated the 180 Recon Boot Camp where they allegedly abused the nine male and two female juveniles from 2010 to 2012 at a training facility known as Camp Coulter, located in the Angeles Crest Mountains, and at 180 Recon headquarters on the 1000 block of Goodrich Avenue in East Los Angeles. In addition to the physical abuse, one of the female victims alleged that Alvarado had inappropriately touched her.

Ruben Romero

According to the 180 Recon website, the boot camp was established in 2009 and is run by Alvarado, which lists him as program director and a retired Marine. In the “About Us” section of the website, 180 Recon is referred to as a “youth mentoring program” and “paramilitary style boot camp” that improves troubled teens by “’breaking them down’  in order to build them back up as positive leaders in the community.” Claiming an 85% success rate, 180 Recon presented a softer take on their methods at their “Mission Statement” section, asserting that the boot camp mentored youth “primarily through a professionally supported group, one-on-one counseling with a caring therapist, and to assist them in achieving their highest potential…”

This contrast between confrontational and nurturing is littered throughout the 180 Recon website and Facebook page. It is not uncommon to see pictures of camp attendees crawling through mud and being screamed at by instructors right next to images of campers going on field trips to Six Flags Magic Mountain, Oklahoma City, and Washington D.C.

Website image

When looking at the blurry line between “tough love” and physical abuse, Sgt. Dan Scott of the LASD’s Special Victims Bureau had simple words for the criteria the sheriffs use when evaluating boot camps. “We follow the California Penal Code.”

Read More:

Daily News: Two ‘boot camp’ instructors arrested for abusing campers

NBC Southern California: Boot Camp Instructors Face Charges of Allegedly Beating 11 Juveniles

Boot Camp goes over the line was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Los Angeles