Another 13 escape Tennessee juvenile center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Thirteen teenagers at a Tennessee juvenile detention facility overpowered a guard late Friday, took his keys and escaped, despite a round of security upgrades after a separate escape earlier this month.

Nashville police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol were able to take 12 of the teens into custody within hours of the late-night escape. Timothy B. Willis, 16, of Shelbyville remained at large Saturday.

The Friday escapees used the guard's keys to get out of their dormitory at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center and into an outdoor courtyard on the complex, according to a statement from the state Department of Children's Services. Once they were outside, they ran to the perimeter fence and escaped.

Thirty-two teens escaped Woodland Hills on Sept. 1 by crawling under a weak spot in the fence. It is unclear what happened this time.

RELATED: Riot at Tenn. facility where 32 teens escaped

"We do not yet know for certain how they got outside the fence, but 13 have escaped the Woodland Hills property," DCS said in the statement.

One staffer was injured in the Friday night breakout. DCS said the other 52 teens being held at Woodland Hills are secure.

Two juveniles from the Sept. 1 escape remain at large.

Since that escape, the department has retrofitted all the dorms to provide more security, added additional metal plates to doors and begun construction on a low concrete buffer to surround the perimeter fence. The department also has obtained authority to lock teen dorm rooms during emergency situations, although it is unknown if that was done Friday night.

Teens at Woodland Hills generally have three felonies on their record, according to a DCS spokesman.


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