Teen scales 3-story building to escape

Boy, 17, was being held at juvenile justice center

August 05, 2004|By Ryan Davis | Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF

Authorities were searching yesterday for a 17-year-old boy who staged a Spider-Man-like escape from the city juvenile justice center - the first since the Gay Street facility began confining children in October.

The boy, detained on drug charges, was apparently upset by a judge's order Tuesday committing him to the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School, and escaped from an enclosed courtyard by scaling a three-story building, said state Department of Juvenile Services spokeswoman LaWanda Edwards.

He had run into the courtyard about 8:45 p.m. as he and three others were being escorted to take medication before bed, Edwards said. The person escorting the boy called for help, and by the time officials arrived four minutes later, he was gone.

"At one point we thought he was somewhere inside the building," she said. "We just thought [the escape] was impossible."

Officials called relatives of the boy, and at one of the houses, he answered the phone. But he was gone by the time authorities got there.

The courtyard is surrounded by the building, which has small ledges on its windows, Edwards said. But if the boy used them to get up, officials did not know how he got down on the other side.

The boy's name was not divulged because of juvenile confidentiality.

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