Teens flee detention center via hole in roof: Louisiana cops


“The facility is not designed to house inmates like these kids,” one senator said. “It needs to be shut down.”(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)


Five teens escaped from a detention facility in Louisiana by cutting a hole in the bathroom ceiling, media outlets say.

After the escape, Sen. Pat Connick, R-Marrero, told WVUE that some offenders think the security at Bridge City Center for Youth is “a joke,” and he wants to see it shut down.

“The facility is not designed to house these folks,” Connick told WVUE “The security is not there. Staffing is not there. Just like the problem at Orleans parish prison, there’s not enough guards and there’s no consequences for their actions.”

The five teens escaped around 2:30 a.m. June 16 by cutting the hole in the ceiling and squeezing through it, WWLTV reported.

Authorities found three of the escapees within three hours: a 16-year-old boy from Jefferson Davis Parish, a 15-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy from New Orleans Parish, NOLA reported.

Another escapee, a 17-year-old from East Baton Rouge Parish, was found around 1:15 p.m, according to NOLA. Officials are still searching for a 16-year-old boy from Tangipahoa Parish, the outlet reported.

Officials didn’t say what the teens were accused of, but Connick told WVUE that some detainees at the facility are “the worst of the worst.”

At least 20 inmates have escaped from the facility in little over a year, according to WWLTV.

“The facility is not designed to house inmates like these kids,” Connick told WWLTV. “It needs to be shut down.”

“At night time, youth are in a dorm, but they are free to move around to go and do what they do. They end up ganging up on other kids, and other staff, and when that happens, that’s when you have the issues,” Bill Sommers, the director of the Office of Juvenile Justice, told WVUE. “That’s when you have the escapes. That’s when you have the violence.”

McClatchy News reached out to the Bridge City Center for Youth for comment and did not receive an immediate response.

Bridge City is 11 miles west of New Orleans.

Alison Cutler is a National Real Time Reporter for the Southeast at McClatchy. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and previously worked for The News Leader in Staunton, VA, a branch of USAToday.

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