Residents of Nashville, Tenn., are asked to be on the lookout for a group of young men on the run from the law. According to CNN, at approximately 11:00pm Monday night, 32 boys escaped from the Woodland Hills Development Center. Authorities said as of this morning 15 of the runaways had either been captured or had surrendered, but the other 17 are still at large.
The drama unfolded during an employee shift change. It is not uncommon for a large number of youth to be in the yard at the same time according to the Tennessee Department of Child Services Communication Director Rob Johnson. He said that normally there are no undue concerns because the grounds are surrounded by an “anti-climb chain-linked fence” that is virtually impossible to get over.
But the resourceful teens did not let that stop them. They were able to flee by tunneling under a flimsy area of the fence. It has not yet been determined if the area had been prepared by the youngsters beforehand, or if it was a spontaneous breakout after the weakened area was discovered.
The juveniles are all three-time felons, but according to representatives of the center none of their charges include murder. Johnson said the circumstances and crimes for which the adolescents had been detained ranged from “running away, burglary and theft, violent crimes, drug-related crimes, foster care problems and mental health needs.”
The boys that took flight ranged in age from 14-19. It has not been determined whether or not they have dispersed into smaller groups, or went their individual ways. There were 78 detainees at the center at the time of the escape.