16-year-old escapee sought by police

June 19, 2008|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun Reporter

Police were searching yesterday for a 16-year-old Baltimore boy who, along with a 14-year-old, escaped Monday night from Victor Cullen Center, a secure facility for juvenile delinquents in Western Maryland.

Maryland State Police described Brian Christopher Becker as a white, 5-foot-11, 180-pound male who might have injuries from climbing over a razor-wire security fence. A state law that took effect this year allows police to release information about juvenile escapees.

The 14-year-old was captured yesterday in Prince George's County, where he lived before being sent to Victor Cullen. His identity was not released.

The teenagers assaulted a staff member and scaled a supposedly climb-proof fence to make their escape, said Tammy Brown, a spokeswoman for the Department of Juvenile Services, which runs the facility.

The state police is the lead agency investigating the assault and escape. Brown said the staff member was treated and released from a hospital and that he did not have any serious injuries.

There were about 30 juveniles and five employees at Victor Cullen when the escape occurred, about 10:30 p.m. Monday, Brown said. She said residents near the facility were alerted immediately by a siren and at midnight and 2 a.m. when they received telephone notifications.

Victor Cullen is the state's only secure facility for teenage boys who have been found responsible, the juvenile equivalent of guilty, for serious crimes. The facility reopened about a year ago in Frederick County, five years after it had been shuttered because of mismanagement and poor conditions.

Brown said this was the second escape since the reopening in July 2007. Before the security fence was completed and reinforced, two boys escaped but were quickly captured, she said.

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

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