Boy flees courthouse, recaptured in field

November 19, 1997

Boy flees courthouse, recaptured in field


Staff Writer

A 15-year-old boy who bolted from Washington County Circuit Court late Wednesday afternoon was recaptured less than 30 minutes later in a field off Marsh Pike.

The teenager took off minutes after Judge Frederick C. Wright III ordered him held for allegedly assaulting his mother and damaging his Smithsburg home last Sunday.

The boy got up from his chair, headed toward the courtroom door and charged past two Washington County sheriff's deputies who attempted to grab his arms as he fled.


Followed by the two deputies, a bailiff and the boy's father, the youth got out of the building and ran into the downtown area shortly before 4 p.m.

Other deputies and additional police and K-9 units joined the search for the teen, north through town and onto Leitersburg Pike toward Marsh Pike.

The boy ran across a field off Leitersburg Pike toward Marsh Pike. Trooper 1st Class T.J. McKenrick, who had driven to Marsh Pike from Maugans Avenue, chased him down and tackled him. McKenrick said he held the boy down until other officers arrived.

"The kid didn't stop," he said. "We had him cornered. I don't know where he thought he was going."

McKenrick said the boy slipped out of handcuffs and ran another few feet before officers tackled him again. They put him in ankle restraints when they placed him in the back of the police van.

Earlier, during the hearing, a Department of Juvenile Justice caseworker told Wright that the boy had been unknown to local authorities until a first incident on Nov. 13 and then the Sunday episode.

The Nov. 13 incident occurred at the Greyhound bus station on the Sharpsburg Pike where the boy was found by his father and returned home.

Three days later, deputies responded to the home in the 100 block of Rachel's Court in Smithsburg around 9:15 p.m. and found that the boy had left home after the alleged damage and assault of the mother were over.

The teen returned home that night shortly after a search was begun by the Maryland State Police K-9 units, deputies said.

Since Sunday, he had been detained at the local juvenile holdover facility on Jonathan Street pending Wednesday's hearing.

"There's been a lot of tension between the parents recently," said Pat Riley, the Department of Juvenile Justice caseworker. He told Wright that neither parent can control the boy.

Defense attorney Eric Andrews told Wright that the teen has had a psychological evaluation and that therapy has been recommended.

Wright decided to place the boy at the Noyes Detention Center in Rockville and ordered a drug and alcohol assessment.

It was just moments later that the boy ran out the door.

Staff Writer Brendan Kirby contributed to this story.

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