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New Orleans LA Aug 15 2015 A group of offenders incarcerated at Bridge City Center for Youth attacked and overpowered a guard last week, allowing eight teens to bolt from their secured dorm, including two who managed to escape the property entirely, according to authorities.
While Riynell Nixon, 15, and Rashad Seals, 16, went on the lam Friday (Aug. 7), prompting a search by local law enforcement. The other six offenders never made it off-property, said Elizabeth Touchet-Morgan, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice.
Investigators Tuesday arrested Sanders Johnson, Juan Tapia, Armani Mouton and Martez Doucet, all 17, and Eric Curry, 19, and booked them with simple escape, according to arrest records. Juvenile Justice investigators also arrested and booked a 16-year-old boy accused of taking part in the escape, Touchet-Morgan said.
The attack occurred about 1:25 a.m. Friday in the boys’ Harmony dormitory at the facility, located at 3225 River Road, Bridge City. Tapia, Mouton, Curry and the unnamed 16-year-old grabbed a guard – referred to as a juvenile justice specialist by officials at the youth center – as he was standing near the door, according to arrest reports.
“They rushed him,” Touchet-Morgan said.
The four teens held the guard down as Seals tried to grab his keys. During the struggle, someone bit the guard’s hand, Touchet-Morgan said.
Seals managed to get the keys away from the guard and unlocked a back door. The teens also stole the guard’s portable radio and the dorm telephone, preventing him from contacting other staffers, the arrest reports said.
The guard finally alerted officials by waving frantically in front of security cameras installed in the dorm. The responding officers spotted the teens on the grounds and began chasing them around the facility, the arrest report said.
They eventually rounded up six of the offenders, but Nixon and Seals escaped through a hole in the perimeter fence, authorities said.
In addition to the simple escape charge, Tapia, Mouton, Curry and the 16-year-old were booked with battery of a correctional center employee while in custody.
Nixon’s relatives surrendered him to authorities on Saturday. Authorities arrested Seals in Baton Rouge on Sunday.
The escape was the second to occur at the youth center in a three-day period. Wilnor Chaney Jr., 18, escaped in a similar fashion by overpowering a guard to access keys during the early morning hours of Aug. 5, Touchet-Morgan said. He was recaptured and booked with simple escape and battery of a correctional center employee while in custody.
The Youth Center has come under scrutiny in the past for issues concerning understaffing and violence against employees. Following the escape, state officials are reviewing the policies and procedures at the facility as part of its investigation, Touchet-Morgan said.
“We look at our staffing to see if there is something we could do to make adjustments for employees,” she said.
That could include reviewing staff-to-youth ratios at the facility. All of the dorm-based employees are supported by other staffers, including shift supervisors and roaming specialist and staff in the control center, according to Touchet-Morgan.
“There are a lot of variables to look at and we’re looking at all of them,” she said. “It’s a facility and processes break down. We want to make sure that we keep that from happening, again.”
Los Angeles CA Aug 15 2015 A recent attack on security guards by youths staying at a transitional center for older foster children with nowhere else to go prompted a call Friday for beefed up security at the facility.
The Youth Welcome Center, housed on the campus of Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, is a last-resort place for foster children ages 12 and older who have nowhere else to go.
Many of the youths are older teens who have been thrown out of multiple foster homes or are difficult to place. The facility is supposed to house the children for 24 hours, but many end up staying considerably longer.
In February, the Times reported on issues at the facility, including youths being recruited for prostitution. Four months later, a special committee appointed by the county Board of Supervisors recommended that they shut the center down.
On Saturday, three youths at the center attacked two security guards, said Amara Suarez, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. She said it was unclear what sparked the assault, but it “may have been related to the youths not following instructions as they were being processed into the center.”
A staffer captured a portion of the melee on video and it was later shared with the Times.
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Suarez said the youths remained at the center after the incident, but on Tuesday got into another fight with a guard, and one youth was arrested.
She said a sheriff’s deputy is now on duty at the center around the clock.
County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents the area, said in statement that she had directed Department of Children and Family Services Director Philip Browning to take further measures to improve safety and security at the center and to “help find alternative placement for the most at-risk minors” and provide mental health services to those who need them.
Riverside CA Aug 15 2015 A man who police believe knocked out and then beat a security guard while he was unconscious has been arrested.
Anthony James Pearce, 27, was arrested at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, and booked into the Southwest Detention Center on suspicion of battery causing serious injury, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and committing a crime while in a post-release community supervision program, jail logs show.
He is being held in jail without bail, the logs show.
The security guard, José Sigaran, had a broken nose and damage to his eyes that left him blind for several days, he said in an interview Friday, Aug. 14.
He had no injuries to the rest of his body, he said.
“I think he really just wanted to destroy my face,” Sigaran said.
The beating was sparked by a run-in he had with the suspect while working guard duty at the downtown bus terminal on University Avenue near Market Street Tuesday morning, Aug. 11, Riverside police officials said in a news release.
The guard saw Pearce, who loiters around the terminal regularly, smoking marijuana, Sigaran said.
When he ordered the suspect to leave, Pearce complied, but he made threats against the guard’s life as he left, Sigaran said.
About an hour later — about noon — the victim was walking to a nearby grocery store when Pearce ambushed him in front of Jersey Burger in the 3900 block of University Avenue, Sigaran said.
What happened next was a blur to the guard, he said, but he thinks the suspect hit him with his skateboard, knocking him out.
But that didn’t stop the suspect, police said.
Pearce stood over Sigaran’s unconscious body and punched him repeatedly in the face, Riverside police Officer Cheryl Hayes said.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital where he got stitches and was referred to specialists to get surgery on his nose and eye sockets, he said.
After the attack, officers got surveillance video from a local business and saw the suspect. He was recognizable by his distinctive shoes, socks and skateboard, the release said.
The next day about 4:20 p.m., an officer spotted Pearce near Mission Inn Avenue and Orange Street. He resembled the man in the video, so the officer took him into custody, police said.
At a police station, Pearce admitted to being involved in the fight, the release said.
Sigaran is a kind man and a great husband and father of five, said Danielle Cott, an Irvine resident and long-time friend.
“He’s a calm, good guy,” she said. “There’s nothing he would have done to provoke this.”
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