Juveniles escape from detention center

September 15, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two teenagers Monday afternoon scaled the fence of the Eastern Regional Juvenile Detention Center and remained at large into the night.

"Somebody just hollered and said, `Two boys escaped,'" according to Capt. Curtis Keller of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. His office is located about 50 yards from the detention center, part of a complex of county government buildings at 800 S. Queen St.

The pair had climbed the chain-link fence topped with barbed wire that surrounds the exercise area, according to an employee at the sheriff's office.


Keller said the two ran up a hill and into a wooded area northeast of the detention center. "I could hear them, but I couldn't get at them. They had too much of a head start," said Keller, who lost the two suspects near the Clock Building.

Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said one of the suspects was a Martinsburg boy arrested early Friday morning after being chased by sheriff's deputies as he drove a stolen vehicle near Hedgesville. She had no information about the other escapee.

The pursuit that resulted in the one boy's arrest began at about 10 p.m. Thursday when a deputy spotted a minivan and a Jeep Cherokee that had been stolen from Wright Motors. The minivan collided with another vehicle and the suspect fled on foot.

Deputies were later tipped off that the youth was hiding behind the Hedgesville 7-Eleven. He was charged with two counts of grand larceny, breaking and entering and several traffic violations.

Another suspect, 19-year-old Douglas Boarman of Martinsburg, was also arrested Friday morning for allegedly stealing the Jeep.

The search for the escaped juveniles was being conducted by Martinsburg City Police, who did not release any information about the incident as of last night.

It was the second double escape from the detention center in the past six weeks. On July 29 Miguel Quinones, 19, overpowered two staff members and escaped the center with Adam Rozas, 17, of Charles Town.

They stole one staff member's car, which was later recovered in New York City. Rozas was captured in Jefferson County last month.

Quinones, who was charged with murder in Fayette County, remains at large. At the time of his escape he was awaiting a court ruling as to whether he would be tried as an adult or a juvenile.

Tom Moreland, the detention center's director, was not there Monday afternoon, according to a woman who answered the phone. Moreland said after the escape of Quinones and Rozas that there had been two other escapes earlier this year, but they were quickly recaptured.

Moreland blamed part of the problem on overcrowding. He also said the center was not designed to be a secure facility.

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