Juveniles' escape angers residents

October 27, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

West Anne Arundel County residents were angered yesterday to learn that a teen-ager who shot six people at a District of Columbia swimming pool last year and another accused of a double murder were among four who walked away Tuesday from a minimum security youth center near Laurel.

The four, who were taken to Forest Haven for an educational program, were recaptured later Tuesday.

"They're not supposed to be in that facility," fumed Ray Smallwood, president of the Maryland City Civic Association. "It's crazy. . . . Somebody's going to get hurt."

The four were inmates at Oak Hill, the district's maximum security prison for violent young offenders off Route 198 between Laurel and Fort Meade. They had been taken in handcuffs and shackles to Camelia Cottage at Forest Haven for an "instructional program," said Madeline Andrews, a spokeswoman for the district's Department of Human Services.

Officials at the department, which runs the Oak Hill/Forest Haven complex, still are "trying to find out" how they escaped, she said.

Because the four are juveniles, district authorities would not disclose their names or the charges on which they were being held.

Other authorities confirmed, however, that one of the four shot and wounded six people at the Benning Park pool in June 1993. Another was accused of a double murder in the district in September 1993.

District officials have claimed for months that the only youths kept at Forest Haven, which is not fenced, are those convicted of nonviolent offenses, such as truancy, or are ready for release.

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