Six boys, ages 14 and 15, broke out of a maximum security juvenile detention facility near Snoqualmie, Wash., on Saturday night after knocking out a female staff member, authorities said. Police recaptured them on Sunday after spotting them in a nearby woods from a helicopter.
The boys had been locked up on charges of assault, possession of firearms and burglary, the King County Sheriff’s Office told the Associated Press; now they’ll face charges of assault, unlawful imprisonment and escape. The staff member is reportedly OK.
The boys, some of whom packed their bags before bailing out, beat the woman with a water bottle full of ice, sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindi West told the Seattle Times. They locked her in a room, taking her keys and a radio, and tried to spring some of their detention mates — some of whom decided not to flee and instead called authorities.
David Griffith, who directs institution programs for the state Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, told the Associated Press that the boys should have been locked in their rooms by 11 p.m. and that it was normal for only one staffer to be in the unit after lockdown.
“We’re not sure how it was initiated. It might have been a single person, or a concerted effort,” Griffith told the AP. “The kids who assaulted the staff member opened the doors for all kids living in the unit, so there was a potential for the entire unit to escape.”
Police said that after the chopper spotted the six boys in the woods, they split up and went in three directions.
West told the Seattle Times that police dogs bit several of the boys and that one of them had to be hospitalized after they were caught.