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Neighbors question security of detention center after riot, escape

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Some neighbors in Prince George County are questioning the security of the Crater Juvenile Detention Center after four teens escaped following a riot at a juvenile detention center Saturday night.

Authorities said four teens broke out of the detention center after a riot around 8:30 p.m.

Police from several jurisdictions searched for hours Saturday night trying to capture the detainees. [READ MORE: Escaped teens now back in custody]

In fact, CBS 6 News’ Joe St. George said police used helicopters to aid in the search.

However, a break finally came around 7:30 a.m. when a driver alerted police that four males had tried to flag down a car near the 10000 block of Prince George Drive.  That’s about a mile through the woods of where the detention center is located.

Police swarmed the rural area and searched nearby homes.  They discovered the detainees in a home where the owner was not home.

For neighbors it was dramatic and troublesome ordeal.

“I called my next door neighbor to let him know so he could be ready for anything, because we do have barns and shelters that he could be hiding in… ,” said Donald Fortmuller, a Prince George resident.

Neal Richmond worried that the teens might have tried to hurt someone in the area and hoped security will increase at the detention center.

“It is intense. They could of easily come to a good friend of ours house  and harmed them,” Richmond said.

“I mean if a riot broke out and they escaped security is not all that well,” Richmond added.

Fortmuller said this is not the first time his neighborhood has been subjected to a manhunt.

“Years ago they had detainees  from the detention center escape. They got my truck that time,” Fortmuller said.

The Prince George Police Department defended the detention center however.

“The Crater Juvenile Detention center has a great track record, great staff unfortunately stuff like that can happen,” Captain Brian Kei said.

As for the four juveniles, their 12 hours of freedom could be worth years in jail, according to CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone. The teens have been charged with felony escape and potentially burglary.

“You could get five years in prison for the felony escape alone so 12 hours of freedom could cost them a significant amount of time behind bars,” Stone said.

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