Four students escape in Hickey School melee Three still at large after counselor is attacked

at least 10 people are hurt

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.

Four youths escaped and 10 people were hurt last night at the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for juvenile offenders.

Four of the school's counselors and six students were reported injured in a melee that began shortly after 9 p.m.

One of the school's counselors, who also act as guards, was flown by helicopter to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The counselor, Robert Powell, 23, was sent home after receiving stitches for head injuries suffered when he was hit repeatedly with a two-way radio, authorities said.

Three of the escapees, meanwhile, remain at large.

Robert W. Hughes, a Hickey School spokesman, said the trouble began in a dining hall on campus when Mr. Powell was attacked.

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 was on top of him at one point, hammering him with the radio until being dragged off by three other students, 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, Mr. Hughes said. Mr. Powell's attacker, who was beaten by other students as they tried to restrain him, did not escape, he said.

One of the escapees surrendered to a resident at a nearby private home not long after leaving the school, Mr. Hughes said.

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

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

All of the escapees are from the city -- a 16-year-old and three 17-year-olds, Mr. Hughes said.

State Police and Baltimore County police officers were called to the Cub Hill section of Baltimore County to assist in the search for the three boys. Baltimore 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.

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

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 six taken to GBMC and St. Joseph were treated and released. No information was available from Frankiln Square on the three people taken there.

The injured students were transported in leg irons.

The Hickey School is a state institution for juvenile offenders run by the Denver-based Rebound Corp. under contract with the state. It has a main building and two dormitories, but no fence around it. Plans call for a fence to be erected early next year, Mr. Hughes said.

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.

In the most recent incident, a 17-year-old escaped on Halloween night after taking a staff worker's car.

Twice in September, groups of 10 or more youths overpowered their counselors and escaped. Most were caught soon afterward and returned.

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