Teen Escapes Through Small Space In Fence At Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center
A 16-year-old escaped through a small opening in a fence at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center over the weekend, and authorities are still looking for him.
The escape from the facility likely was the first in decades, said Chris Crutchfield, Ramsey County Community Corrections spokesman, who added that officials with the agency could not recall another instance.
“We’re going to fully investigate how it happened and we’ll be instituting changes,” Crutchfield said Monday. “… We’re going to take steps to ensure this never happens again.”
The teen was at the juvenile detention center on West Seventh and St. Peter streets in downtown St. Paul for a probation violation. He was in an outdoor courtyard at the facility when he slipped out a “very small opening” in the bottom corner of a metal mesh fence on Saturday about 4:45 p.m., Crutchfield said.
A police report described the teen as crawling under the fence.
Staff were immediately aware of the escape, but weren’t able to follow the teen out through the fence because the opening was so small, Crutchfield said. The teen ran to a waiting car.
Police said Monday that they will work with Ramsey County juvenile probation to locate the teen and return him to the detention center.
Ramsey County Community Corrections is investigating how the breach in the fence happened, including whether it was pried or cut, and whether the teen created it himself.
There were escape cases in 2012 involving the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center, though they were not from the facility itself. In one, a juvenile escaped while being brought to the center and, in another, a teen got away from deputies when they were taking him from the center to a medical appointment.