Fight Club uncovered at home for mentally disabled

Staff at Corpus Christi State School, a home for mentally disabled people, were suspended for organizing a "fight club" involving the folks who lived there. The workers will likely be charged with abuse. From the Associated Press:
Corpus Christi Police Captain Tim Wilson says the fight clubs were uncovered when someone gave an off-duty police officer a cell phone containing videos of fights at the Corpus Christi State School.

Wilson says the videos show mentally disabled adult clients punching, shoving, and striking each other while the employees watch.
`Fight club' bouts probed at home for the retarded (Thanks, Gil Kaufman!)


  1. Well that’s just awesome.

    That’s, like, film material.

    It would definitely be better than Epic Movie <_<

  2. “Hypnotoad: The Motion Picture” would be better than Epic Movie.

    But the question is, who broke the first rule of Mentally-Disabled Fight Club?

  3. the videos show mentally disabled adult clients punching, shoving, and striking each other while the employees watch.

    Sounds like MSNBC.

  4. May I suggest that the employees involved be hung up as punching bags for these aspiring pugalists.

  5. Santa’s Knee here (damned work filters! I hate Websense!!!)

    Q: “But the question is, who broke the first rule of Mentally-Disabled Fight Club?”

    A: “I like apples!”

  6. Terrible.
    But not that surprising. As a mom of a kid with neurological differences I have found so much misuse of power by those that are supposed to help our special needs kids and adults.

    It’s not the norm, I’m guessing, and hopefully it will make people ask more questions and keep a more watchful eye on the kids and adults who can’t look out for themselves.

    I’d say the majority of special needs care workers don’t contribute to things such as this, but the amount of exposes of current events such as this, and current revelation of such events in the past, like The White House Boys in Florida (ok, “troubled” kids, not necessary disabled, but the diagnostics were much different back then…it’s just an example of abuse of power in an institutional setting) really leaves one with a feeling that there is no one that can be trusted… I’d be curious to hear what the relatives of the organizers of the “fight club” have to say about them. My guess is everyone outside of the home, with family on the inside, thought everything was ok until that cop saw the video.

    Shame on those employees.

  7. Oh gods, that’s hilarious. Yeah, it’s terrible in that abstract way, but after spending a few hours reading about the Congo conflict this is die-of-laughter stuff.

    Also, see Something Positive.

  8. Pathetic, sad, awful.
    I’d ask people who are laughing at this to consider what it would be like to be in the shoes of those being abused, or the shoes of their loved ones.

  9. This is truly sad. These people give humans a bad name.

    But if this were a situation where the Handicapped people made the fight club themselves and were proud of it, I would have a chuckle at the following Handicapped Tyler Durden Intro:

    The first rule of Handicapped Fight Club is – you do not talk about Handicapped Fight Club. The second rule of Handicapped Fight Club is – you DO NOT talk about Handicapped Fight Club. Third rule of Handicapped Fight Club, someone yells Stop!, goes limp, makes water, taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule, only two wheelchairs to a fight. Fifth rule, one fight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule, no biting, no Poop throwing. Seventh rule, fights will go on as long as no one cries. And the eighth and final rule, if this is your first night at Handicapped Fight Club, you have to fight.

  10. Ok so these staff were suspended. I suspect it is unlikely that they get any jailtime, or if they do it will be minimal.

    Michael Vick forces dogs to fight and he gets a 23 month jail sentence, and deservedly so. Dogs of course are likely to kill each other during the course of a dogfight.

    It just seems strange. Down syndrome people vis a vis cute dogs, the dogs will probably win out.

    Apparently we spend a significant degree more money each year on our pets, than helping the poor. I guess it all says something about humans in general.

  11. What’s more depressing — that people find it funny (no surprise in itself; people==sick) — and are happy to /post here saying so/ … or that one at least of those of us sickened by it think that state-sanctioned anal rape is an appropriate punishment?

    Roll on global warming and the end of human “civilisation”. ha ha. Only serious.

  12. Right. Hilarious, everyone. Lets all laugh at the disabled people. No, here’s a better idea: lets laugh at people abusing disabled people.

    #20: “These people give humans a bad name.” Actually I’m starting to warm to the notion that there is an oxymoron in there somewhere. Like saying “it makes maggots look yucky”.

  13. Oh, c’mon, who didn’t think of Eric Cartman from South Park yelling “Cripple Fight!!!!!” when you read that headline.

    But to get all huffy and deny that there is any humor in this, however macabre…you need to chill and go listen to some classic George Carlin.

    You can have a laugh about this in the abstract and still condemn the actions.

    My thoughts went immediately to South Park and I admit I did laugh; But if the facts are as they have been reported and I were sitting on the jury in judgment, I would vote to throw the book at them, hit them with as many penal time as the law allows.

    I would applaud such a verdict, if such is ever handed down by my fellow Texans. But yeah, the headline did make me laugh, involuntarily.

  14. as someone above mentioned, if the prisoners had organized it, it would be one thing. Since the guards did it, it is quite another.

  15. I’ll happily deny finding any humour in this.

    In fact, for possibly the first time, i’m wandering wtf Mr Pescovitz was thinking in sharing this.

  16. I definitely did not see a funny side to this.

    But I don’t have a problem with its being here. It’s no different in tone to the fairly depressing torture stories Cory and Xeni occasionally post: it needs airplay.

    I can’t imagine David was shooting for grins.

  17. This is abhorent- promoting bare knuckle fighting among the mentally challenged.
    But if the residents want to learn boxing, I would have no problem with them pulling on the gloves and headgear. Training for boxing is as rigorous as sports training gets, it’s very cardiac, and self-defense is something everybody could use.
    No wait. I just changed my mind. If you’re trained and skilled in fighting, any form of fighting, it comes with a degree of responsibility. You’ve got to have a lot of self control, or you could seriously damage someone. When I was very young, I knew a retarted kid that was huge and dangerous, and we didn’t dare piss him off. Maybe it’s a bad idea- ala Of Mice And Men. Lenny didn’t mean no harm, but it happened.

  18. SSwaan–some care they were giving! I lean towards Takuan’s assessment–prisoners and guards. Especially at a state “school”.

  19. But to get all huffy and deny that there is any humor in this, however macabre…you need to chill and go listen to some classic George Carlin.
    No, you need to understand that these are human beings, most of whom have a tough time managing life in general, being made to fight each other like animals. I’m a bit stunned to find that there are so many people here who think this is funny. I’m thinking of my 16-year-old nephew, who still shits himself on a regular basis, being punched and kicked and bloodied by someone equally as incapacitated as he is, and who has no idea what’s going on, and is probably terrified for his life. Ha ha ha.

    If you think this is funny, you might ask yourself if you have any more regard for the retarded than you do for animals. You might also ask yourself just how big of an asshole you are.

    @JFrance #29:
    In fact, for possibly the first time, i’m wandering wtf Mr Pescovitz was thinking in sharing this.
    I assume he was not posting it for lulz, and I imagine (I hope) he’d be as disappointed as I am that some assholes here think it’s funny.

  20. these people obviously just represent a paycheck and entertainment to their “keepers”. “Guards” is fair and “prisoner” is appallingly correct.

  21. this kind of shit makes me sick to my stomach. thankfully this was horrendous enough to make the national papers. i would take a bat to the feet of those assholes! floriduh’s got it’s qwerx, but WTF is up with texas? u trying to make us look good?

  22. To everyone with no sense of humor: Lighten up Francis. A person is capable of empathy and disgust at a story like this while simultaneously chuckling. A few of the funniest things I have seen were some of the most appauling.

  23. I believe in due process, the rule of law, and I don’t believe in torture or hell.

    But for the seven Corpus Christi State School employees allegedly behind this, I am willing to re-think my position(s).

  24. Dearest Key,

    Your post @ 35 was extremely moving, especially the part where you labeled the mentally challenged as “retarded”.

    Your adoring fan,


  25. the mother-in-law works with the mentally challenged including housing some in her home, and I respect her a lot for doing it since it needs to be done and not many can tolerate it. Meanwhile a few of our extended family hate the neccessity of them to show up at family gatherings.

    I feel people are prone to resent any mentally challenged people they spend time with unless they have a reason to bond, such as being related.. it sucks but it seems prevalent and hidden.

    remember what even the slightest of marginalized people are painfully aware of – world works on a ‘if its different, punch it’ kinda policy. they just didn’t do the punching themselves.

    (nor do they represent all the caretakers around the globe)

  26. SatanAteMyEars,

    Though I think I already know the answer to this question, I should ask anyhow: Are you genuinely offended at the word “retarded” or are you just trying to score points?

    If it’s the former, my apologies. I know a lot of people don’t like that word. Myself, I find it descriptive, and I have no problems using it. And my brother doesn’t take offense when I use the word to describe his son, because that’s what he is. But I certainly understand some people’s objections. So, if this is what you’re saying, I offer my sincere apologies.

    On the other hand, if you’re just trying to score points, go pound sand. I suspect this is it, since you have not expressed any offense at all the posters above who are guffawing at the mentally challenged being set up to fight like dogs.

  27. Wait, wait — huge, important distinction here: a “Fight Club” scenario would be one where the disenchanted among the residents secretly organized the whole thing to bring meaning back into their empty lives, unbeknownst to their caregivers.

    This is NOT a Fight Club. It’s just “caretakers abuse their charges by making them fight”. Please, if you must have a clever description to draw in the brainless masses, choose a more apt one next time:

    Roman Colliseum, Minus Lions, Plus Mentally Challenged (Who Incidentally May Or May Not Be Christians, But Still): Thumbs Down

    or: Real Live Pokemon Battles Where The Mentally Challenged Are the Pokemon (cue ominous: bum bum BUUUM!!!!)

    or: You Thought Michael Vick Was Bad ZOMG?? Check Out This!!!!!1!one!

  28. This is nothing less than abuse of people with intellectual disabilities. If all of these people knew it was going on, the attitude that it is okay to abuse is built into the culture of the organization. Believe me, it didn’t start with an employee coming in one day and saying “Let’s start a fight club!” When they look into this further, they’ll find a lot more than just this going on.

  29. While many of you are justifiably aghast, this is about what I’ve come to expect from state institutions or any group that has a monopoly on the use of force.

  30. Key,

    I can honestly say that “retarded” does strike a chord with with. One of my cousins drowned when she was around 12, and was resuscitated. However, she did suffer a fair bit of brain damage.

    And you know what? I even use the word every now and then, but usually end up feeling like a bit of an asshole quickly after. I also have a somewhat dark sense of humor at times, and did find a couple of the comments to be genuinely funny, as well unfunny.

    So, if you feel that you’ve been singled out by me, then I offer you my sincerest apologies. I truly do. Have a lovely day.

  31. Takuan: Point taken. Foucault would probably have agreed.

    I guess what I meant to say was that the people abusing those living in this facility are supposed to be providing care and support. Obviously that’s not happening, but I just wanted to point out that the folks living there aren’t criminals but people who need help to get by, be safe, take care of themselves.

    But that they’re being treated like prisoners–or worse–I don’t deny.

  32. @SatanAteMyEars

    Well, then, I do apologize. I try not to use the word in venues where I’m not sure how people will react to it. Sometimes I slip up.

    But can I then ask why you’re bothered by my use of a non-PC term, but find it funny that others here are openly mocking the mentally challenged? That seems … unexpected.

    And I’m not just roping your goat here. I once had a German roommate, and I overheard a phone conversation he had with a German friend, during which he spoke completely in German except when he shouted the word “offensive” in English. We talked about it later, and he said this was because he could not translate “offensive” into German because the word is so subjective that it has no real meaning.

    Since then, I’ve always wondered what “offensive” means to different people. So I’m curious why my comment drew a stronger reaction from you than other comments.

  33. once upon a time, words like “simple”,”touched”, “slow” and a lot more worse were used by the ignorant and those who should have known better.
    With time and a little learning,”mentally retarded”, as in “mental development slowed behind average”, came into accepted usage by people who thought about their words. “Mentally challenged”,”mentally disabled” next with a segue to PC extremes like “differently mentally abled”.
    Ironically,”retarded” crept into young people slang usage around the same time “gay” was re-co-opted into a term of offense.

    Remember to look at who is using a word, look at their age,background, training, education, culture and intent. That is,if you really want to divine their meaning.

  34. If I understand your cryptic comment, I think what you’re saying is that if it’s an actor portraying something horrible, it’s funny, but if it’s the real thing, it’s offensive.

    So I’m still confused, since that has no application whatsoever to the Corpus Christi situation.

    To be perfectly honest, I think you’re full of it. I think you’re just trying to make me look bad because I dared to point out that people who laugh at this are assholes. Know why?

    I find it hard to believe that someone with a mentally challenged cousin would sit there chuckling at comments like,
    This could totally eclipse “Bumfights” !
    I’ll take 10 copies please!

    Dang it, the first rule of Fight Club is…
    What are you, retarded or something????

    but then when he read,
    you might ask yourself if you have any more regard for the retarded than you do for animals
    got all bothered at the massive insensitivity shown by that comment.

    I think you’re just someone who laughed at the original post, got pissed at me because I told you you were a bad person for laughing, and decided to nitpick my comment instead of considering the possibility that you might be an asshole.

    As always, I could be wrong. The world will probably never know.

  35. Takuan @50: here, here.

    I’ve found myself using “retarded” alot more than I should to describe things that are not developmentally hindered (and i’m not talking human beings). It’s casual slang that I once wouldn’rt have dreamt of using.

    And a large group of my friends use “gay”, especially the younger ones. And while it’s crappy on some levels, I’m also aware it’s a generation that is generally much more at ease with diverse sexuality – the point where it is such a non-issue. We know they mean “Stupid gay, not sexy gay” (as I like to think of it.)

    We’re post-PC, i’d like to think, in the sense that context is everything and blanket sensitivites just are practical. And knowing that, it shouldn’t ever stop someone from saying “hey, that words makes me feel ____ ” without implying the other person is an ignorance, uncaring bigot.

    And to my comment @29 and your response (takuan): I think i’m a bit distrubed at how much humour some people found in it, or where they found that humour.

    I’m as dark as they come with my humour, and cross many boundaries, it just seemed odd that the default response was to have a chuckle. And to post that, and nothing else. But going back to context, yadda-yadda, I may have just defeated my own initial objection with this comment. I’m really not too sure.

Comments are closed.