10 youths flee Hickey School 2 are captured One juvenile at large from escape 2 weeks ago

September 23, 1992|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

Officials at the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School said 10 juvenile delinquents who overpowered their counselors and fled from the school early yesterday probably acted spontaneously, unlike another group that escaped from the school two weeks ago.

An additional 25 youths who had the opportunity to escape yesterday stayed in their cottages, officials said.

Eight of yesterday's escapees were being sought by police last night. All but one of those who escaped Sept. 8 have been recaptured.

Several troopers at the Golden Ring state police barracks said yesterday that they weren't notified of the midnight escape until almost an hour after it happened.

That is not unusual, since the school's own security force usually searches the 200-acre grounds first, said William E. Botkin, a spokesman for Rebound Corp. Inc., a Denver-based corporation that has operated the troubled school for the Department of Juvenile Services for the last year.

Runaways usually are apprehended heading for their home neighborhoods, as one youth was yesterday. State police were not sure where the second youth was caught.

Mr. Botkin said security procedures will be reviewed, and Jacqueline Lampell, a spokeswoman for Juvenile Services, said her agency "is taking the incident very seriously."

"The matter is under investigation, and steps will be taken to prevent another escape. We're going to have to look into why something like that would happen within 10 days of the first one," she said.

The 15- to 17-year-olds from Baltimore and the surrounding counties who broke out yesterday had been found delinquent for crimes ranging from assault and robbery to violation of probation, police said.

They were at Hickey awaiting assignment there or to another institution, Mr. Botkin said. The 11 youths who escaped Sept. 8 were in a detention unit. They had been accused of crimes but had not been found delinquent.

In yesterday's escape, Mr. Botkin said, one youth asked to go to the bathroom just before midnight and was escorted by one of two staff members on duty in the building.

As the staff member unlocked the youth's room on returning, the youth's roommate charged the door, momentarily dazing the adult.

The two youths tried to get his keys but failed, Mr. Botkin said, then shoved their way into a room where a female staff member was trying to call for help and took her keys. They then unlocked doors to rooms housing other juveniles, he said. Eight joined them in the escape.

"The type of situation is very different," Mr. Botkin said. The earlier escape "was in the morning, when they were all out and on their way to work, or to wash up, and it seemed they had TC plan."

The buildings involved in both escapes are on an unfenced portion of the grounds. Mr. Botkin said about 100 of the school's 350 youths live in the more secure portion and that the state's planned $5.2 million in renovations at the school include a new fence.

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