More than 30 teens escape from Tennessee detention center

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by RACHEL KATZ and DAN GOOD

WHAS11.com

Posted on September 2, 2014 at 7:26 AM

(ABC News) --  Dozens of juveniles escaped a Tennessee detention center Monday, authorities said, with many of the teens still on the run.

The Labor Day escape happened at about 11 p.m. at the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center, said Rob Johnson, communications director for the Tennessee Department of Child Services.

The teens made their way into the yard area of the detention center that has an “anti-climb chain-linked fence,” Johnson said.

One juvenile eventually turned himself in, while authorities have captured others in the surrounding neighborhoods, Johnson added.

Seventeen of the escapees were still at large as of early this morning.

The escaped teens range in age from 14 to 17 and have at least three felonies, Johnson said, including a history of running away, burglary and theft, violent crimes, drug-related crimes, foster care problems and mental health needs.

None of the escaped juveniles had been detained for homicide or murder.

Authorities are confident they will find the remaining escapees. The Metro Nashville Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol and Tennessee Children’s Services are helping to track down the escaped juveniles, Johnson said.

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