May 7, 2007
There are concerns about a Charlottesville home for disadvantaged teens. Questions were raised after one teen allegedly threw scalding oil at another teen on Friday. Police said this isn't the first time they have been called out to a STARS home in the city.
Police said Friday’s incident marked the 318th time they have been called out for help since January of last year.
“It sure is a drain on police services to have to respond almost on a daily basis,” said Charlottesville Police Captain Chip Harding.
With more than 300 911 calls in 16 months, police said it seems as if they are responding to one of the three STARS homes in the city almost every day.
“The majority of the calls are missing person calls where I assume the girls are not coming home when they are supposed to. But we do have a number of assaults and disorder assaults in that,” said Harding.
Police were called out to a STARS home on Friday.
“One of the residents had thrown a pan of hot grease in the face of another one of the residents,” explained Harding.
Police charged one teen with assault, and the other teen was sent to the hospital with second-degree burns.
No one at the STARS home would comment on camera about the incident, but they tell us they abide by strict government rules. They also say that much of the high call volume to police is because they have to report a teen missing every time she is more than two hours late.
They also said those assaults recorded by police are generally something a normal household might not think twice about, but under state regulations, is something they have to report.
Police still said it’s time the state takes a deeper look at STARS.
“We’re on the outside looking [in] so we are asking for a regulatory authority from the Department of Social Services to come in and take a hard look at it,” said Harding.