Teens caught after escaping Carroll facility

One found in Hagerstown, two walking along I-70

January 21, 2004|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

Three teen-age boys who ran away from a low-security juvenile detention center in Carroll County on Monday night - including one who stole a car - were back in custody by yesterday afternoon, state police said.

The teens were reported missing about 9:20 p.m. after they failed to appear for an evening headcount at the Thomas O'Farrell Youth Center in Marriottsville, said LaWanda G. Edwards, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Juvenile Services. The facility is unsecured, she said.

Two of the three were walking along Interstate 70 near U.S. 29 when they were apprehended by state troopers at 1:25 a.m. yesterday.

Edwards said one of the boys caught on the highway is a 14-year-old with a record that includes felony theft and the unauthorized use of an automobile. His 16-year-old cohort's record includes drug and theft charges. "They thought they had a plan," Edwards said, "but it went awry."

The third boy escaped in a 2000 Hyundai Elantra owned by one of the center's staff members, state police said. The 14-year-old was found at a friend's house yesterday afternoon in Washington County near Hagerstown, his hometown. The car was recovered.

The boy had been sent to O'Farrell for fourth-degree burglary.

The center opened in October 1988 as a project of the North American Family Institute, a nonprofit human services agency. The 40-bed center is used primarily as a residential institution with a strong emphasis on counseling and treatment.

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