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7 Flee Juvenile Hall; 1 Still at Large

November 11, 1991|Associated Press

FRESNO — Seven juvenile hall inmates overpowered unarmed staff members with baseball bats and pool cues and smashed wire-reinforced windows in a bid for freedom Sunday.

One youth, a 17-year-old who was held for six felonies, remained at large late Sunday, said Fresno County Sheriff's Lt. Don Burk. The youth was believed to be heading for Mexico.

Five juveniles were captured within an hour of the 10 a.m. escape, and a sixth was found around 4 p.m. Most were found within a mile of the Fresno County Juvenile Hall from which they escaped.

The escape, the largest and most violent in the facility's history, appeared to be planned, said Steve Crosby, an assistant director at the hall. Three escapees were believed to belong to the same gang, he said.

The juveniles attacked staff members with baseball bats, pool cues and broomsticks, smashed wire-reinforced windows leading to interview rooms, and then ran out an unlocked door, the Sheriff's Department said.

Seven staff members were injured in the break. Two were treated and released at Fresno Community Hospital. Another staff member, who suffered a concussion, was held overnight at the hospital for observation.

The youths, ranging in age from 15 to 17, were being held for a variety of crimes.

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