Oak Hill detainee, 18, is dead after a fight

CRIME WATCH

Crime Watch

Baltimore & Region

November 29, 2005|By ANDREA F. SIEGEL

An 18-year-old being held at the District of Columbia's Oak Hill youth detention center died Sunday after a fight last week with two others at the center in Laurel.

The teenager was lucid when he was sent to Prince George's Hospital Center on Wednesday, said LaShon Seastrunk, spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, which runs Oak Hill. But he lost consciousness Friday and was declared brain dead at 4 p.m. Saturday. He was removed from life support at 6 p.m. Sunday, she said.

Seastrunk said the agency and Washington's Metropolitan Police are investigating. She said she could not release the teenager's name or the nature of the dispute, though she described the cause of the fight as "trivial."

In 2004, the District of Columbia's inspector general criticized Oak Hill for problems such as crowding, drug smuggling and lax security. Some Maryland members of Congress want to close the center and move it to Washington. Legislation is pending in Congress to transform the center's programs and facilities, Seastrunk said.

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