Digest

August 08, 2007

2 Hickey escapees hunted; help sought

State police said yesterday they were still searching for two teenagers who escaped from a juvenile detention center in Baltimore County last week, and they went to court for approval to release their names and photographs.

Police said Justin A. Russell, 15, and Davon Julius, 16, both of Baltimore, escaped July 31 from the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School on Cub Hill Road in Carney.

They were in a group of four youths who had been brought to a medical satellite building within the school's fenced compound about 8 p.m. to receive their medications.

Russell and Julius were left in a van and were supposed to be supervised while the other two youths were in the medical building, said Tammy Brown, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.

She said there were no indications the fence had been cut, and authorities are trying to determine how they got out.

However, she said, there was a clear lack of supervision. "The employee directly responsible for supervising the youth who escaped was terminated immediately," Brown said.

Brown also said the agency is terminating its contract with a company that has been responsible for securing the facility and monitoring the entry gates.

Hickey is used primarily as a detention center, or juvenile jail, where youths are held pending court appearances. Brown said she could not disclose the offenses with which the youths had been charged because of state laws governing information about juveniles.

State police say they searched the grounds the night of the escape with the assistance of Baltimore County and Baltimore City police, and have continued to search over the past week. They asked anyone with information to call local police at 911 or the state police Golden Ring Barracks at 410-780-2700.

The escape at Hickey follows one in May in which 10 teenagers overpowered two female counselors and slipped through a fence opened with cable cutters.

Greg Garland

Somerset County

: Westover

Prison told to cut water use

Maryland environmental officials have ordered the state's largest prison to reduce water consumption that, combined with drought conditions, is being blamed for 140 failing wells on the Lower Eastern Shore.

The Eastern Correctional Institution and the owners of a nearby sod farm have pledged to reduce the amount of water drawn from the Manokin aquifer, a major source of water for the southern end of the peninsula.

The 20-year-old prison in Westover in Somerset County is authorized to use up to 25,000 gallons a day, but sometimes has been drawing 230,000 gallons a day - 10 times what ECI's permit allows, officials say.

"With 3,300 inmates in the summer, we are doing everything possible to conserve," said ECI spokesman Mark Vernarelli. "Every prison is a small city. We also have nearly 1,000 employees."

Environmental officials say many of the wells that have gone dry are small pumps with 2 1/2 -inch pipes that are not capable of drawing water as aquifer levels have dropped in the face of a summer-long drought.

"We're trying to get the big users into compliance," said MDE spokesman Robert Ballinger.

In the meantime, state housing officials say they will provide low-interest loans or grants to homeowners who need new wells.

Chris Guy

Prince George's

: College Park

W.Va. man charged in abduction

A West Virginia man has been charged with kidnapping his former girlfriend and her daughter after a weekend investigation that began with a car crash in Howard County and ended with an arrest in College Park.

On Saturday night, Samantha K. Dehaven, 26, of Martinsburg, W. Va., called 911 and said she was driving a Nissan Sentra west on Interstate 70 and thought someone was trying to kill her, Maryland State Police said.

Police found an unoccupied Nissan Sentra overturned in the median of I-70 at Marriottsville Road. A witness said a white pickup truck struck the Nissan and that a woman who had been driving the Nissan got into the pickup truck, which was carrying a man and a little girl, police said.

Authorities learned that Dehaven's ex-boyfriend drove a white pickup truck and that the two had "a troubled relationship," police said. The ex-boyfriend, Saul H. Williams, 26, of the 3000 block of Winchester Ave. in Martinsburg, was tracked to a trailer he owns in the Cherry Hill Trailer Park in College Park. Williams was arrested Monday morning, police said yesterday.

Dehaven and her 6-year-old daughter were found in the trailer, where they had been held against their will, police said. Neither Dehaven nor the girl required medical treatment.

According to police, investigators determined that Williams was following Dehaven as she attempted to return to West Virginia when Williams' truck struck Dehaven's car, causing it to overturn.

Williams was charged with two counts of kidnapping, three counts each of first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property, according to police. He was being held at the Howard County Detention Center on $125,000 bond, police said.

sun reporter

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