10 hurt, 4 escape in violence at Hickey

November 19, 1992|By David Michael Ettlin and Michael James | David Michael Ettlin and Michael James,Staff Writers Staff writers Robert A. Erlandson and Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

In an outbreak of violence, at least four counselors and six inmates were injured last night at the trouble-plagued Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile offenders, and four youths escaped.

One of the counselors -- who also act as guards -- was flown by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center from the institution in the Cub Hill section of northern Baltimore County.

Staff member Robert Powell, 23, was in stable condition and receiving stitches for head injuries suffered when he was hit repeatedly with a two-way radio, authorities said.

Robert W. Hughes, a Hickey School spokesman, said the trouble broke out shortly after 9 p.m. in the intake building housing newly arrived inmates.

One of the 39 inmate-students "jumped" Mr. Powell in the dining hall of the building, and a melee ensued in which all four of the supervisors on duty in the building and at least six students were injured, Mr. Hughes said. The student who attacked Mr. Powell at one point was on top of him, striking him repeatedly in the head with the heavy radio, when three other students came to his rescue and dragged the boy off, Mr. Hughes said.

"They very well may have saved his life," Mr. Hughes said. "He was being repeatedly beaten."

Four youths managed to escape during the disruption, in which a window and metal screen were kicked out, he said. Mr. Powell's attacker, who was himself beaten by other students while they tried to restrain him, was not one of the escapees, he added.

There is no fencing around the building or two adjacent housing units, although plans call for a fence to be built early next year, Mr. Hughes said.

One of the missing youths surrendered to a resident at a nearby private home, Mr. Hughes said.

Police said the others were being sought and believed they had been sighted near midnight in Baltimore near the intersection of Northern Parkway and The Alameda.

All of the escapers were from the city -- a 16-year-old and three 17-year-olds committed on such charges as assault, narcotics offenses and probation violation, Mr. Hughes said.

State troopers and Baltimore County police officers were called to the Cub Hill area to assist in the search. Baltimore City police also were alerted.

"The tendency is for the students to head to their old areas, and that's where police will concentrate their efforts," Mr. Hughes said last night.

According to early accounts, four of the injured were taken by ambulance to the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, three to Franklin Square Hospital and two others to St. Joseph Hospital.

The injured students were transported in leg irons.

The injuries appeared to be largely cuts and bruises from the fighting, authorities said.

"Order has been restored inside," Mr. Hughes said late last night.

The school is a state institution for juvenile offenders. The Denver-based Rebound Corp. has operated the school under contract with the state for much of the past year.

The change in management has not halted the disturbances and escapes that have been a continuing concern in the rural neighborhood near Cub Hill Road, several miles north of the Baltimore Beltway.

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