Six high risk juvenile offenders from Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie, Washington caused a flurry of activity late Saturday night. Around 11:30 PM, the six teenage boys overpowered a female staff member, knocked her unconscious, snatched her keys and radio, and locked her in a room. Then, they fled the facility.
The incident was reported when other juveniles discovered the unconscious staff member. KING 5 TV Seattle reports that authorities responded quickly and established a perimeter around the wooded area that surrounded the facility. The escapees dispersed into three groups of two when they were discovered by authorities in a helicopter.
With the aid of the helicopter crew, deputies on the ground were able to apprehend the boys. K-9 units were used to capture the escapees. One of the boys was bitten by a K-9 dog during the incident and was treated at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. The remaining five offenders were booked at the King County Youth Services Center on charges of assault, unlawful imprisonment, and escape. The injured offender is expected to join the others at the King County Youth Services Center. The juveniles were all captured by 2AM early Sunday morning.
The Seattle Times reports that there are indications that the escape may have been planned. The boys were discovered to have packed bags. One of the juveniles also had stuffed his bed in order to make it look like he was still in it.
Witnesses told investigators that the staff member had been struck by frozen ice inside of a water bottle. David Griffith, director of institution programs at Juvenile Rehabilitation, stated that the staff member suffered from a concussion and bruises but was resting at home on Sunday. Griffith further noted that there will be an investigation into what went wrong. The juveniles are normally locked in their rooms after 11:00PM.
After the assault, all of the juveniles could have escaped. However, seven remained to help the injured staff member. Griffith stated that these juveniles would be recognized in some way.
Most of the offenders were originally in detention for either assault or firearms charges. Three of the offenders are 14-years-old and three are 15-years-old.