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32 teens escape detention center; 10 still at large

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

32 teens escape detention center; 10 still at large

By NewsChannel 5. CREATED Sep 2, 2014

Police worked through the night to track down dozens of teenagers who escaped from a juvenile detention center in Nashville.

Officials said 32 teens between the ages of 14 and 17 were able to get out of their dorms at Woodland Hills Youth Development Center, kick out some kind of metal vent, then run around the yard until finding a weak spot in a fence. The escape happened around 11 p.m. Monday.

Police quickly set up a containment perimeter and began the search.

The teens were all wearing grey shirts, dark dungaree-style pants and black shoes. 

Two were caught soon afterwards and several more were found and taken into custody overnight.

As of about 5 a.m. all but 17 of the teens were back into custody at the Juvenile Detention Center near Nashville's football stadium, LP Field. Seven more have since been located. Officials said some turned themselves in, some were located by police, and some were turned in by their parents. 

They will eventually return to the Youth Development Center or a different facility in the state. 

Several officers with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and Tennessee Highway Patrol were involved in the search.

Officials said the teens were being detained on serious charges. Rob Johnson with the Tennessee Department of Children's Services said the teens being kept at the detention center have committed at least three felonies.

The teens who escaped had been facing a range of charges, many involving robbery, drugs or weapons. None of them had been chanrged with any homicides.  

He said he did not know if the escape was planned or spontaneous.

It was not the first time an incident like this has happened. A few months ago some teens escaped their dorms but didn’t make it under the fence.

The facility houses a total of 78 teens, so close to half were involved in the escape.

There were around 18 security guards on duty when the teens escaped. All were interviewed as part of the investigation. 

Officials said doors to the dorms do not lock in case of fire or other emergency. 

All 32 teens are expected to be changed for escaping.