Clinic, Staff Convicted Of Abuse In Angellika Arndt's Restraint
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 7, 2006
RICE LAKE, WISCONSIN--The day treatment center where 7-year-old Angellika Arndt was fatally injured, and one of its employees, were convicted Wednesday of negligent abuse after pleading no contest to the charges.
Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager said that Northwest Guidance and Counseling Clinic Inc. pleaded no contest to one felony count of negligent abuse of a resident, and 29-year-old Brad Rideout pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of negligent abuse of a patient.
Angellika, who had diagnoses of reactive attachment disorder, mood disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, died on May 26, one day after being placed in a "control hold" at the Rice Lake Day Treatment Center as a consequence for gargling milk. Two staff members held her facedown on the floor for several minutes.
A medical examiner ruled Angellika's death a homicide due to "complications from chest compression asphyxiation".
Investigators later learned that it was the ninth time the girl had been restrained in the previous four weeks.
According to a report by Lautenschlager's office, Northwest failed to provide adequate training to its employees on how to implement its restraint policy, thereby creating a significant risk to the girl's physical health. It also noted that staff failed to consult records containing her medical history before providing services to her, and to come up with an way to address her behaviors other than restraining her.
In a statement, Rideout took personal responsibility and expressed "deep sadness" for the girl's death, saying he hoped his no contest plea would allow "everyone involved with this tragedy to begin to heal and to move forward."
"Attorney General says Rice Lake clinic found guilty in girl's death" (Chippewa Herald)
"Rice Lake: Counselor, center found negligent in death" (Star-Tribune)
"Angellika Arndt, 7, Died After Ninth Restraint At Clinic" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)