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More than 30 teens escape from US detention center

Police work in front of the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center September 2, 2014, in Nashville, Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee: Thirty-two teens escaped from a youth detention center in Nashville by crawling through a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and more than half of them were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.

The teens - ages 14 to 19 - went out into a yard at the facility all at once, shortly after a shift change, Tennessee Department of Children's Services spokesman Rob Johnson said. They escaped through the fence surrounding the yard about 11 p.m., Johnson said, but it wasn't clear whether that was spontaneous or a planned move.

Two teens were captured immediately and 13 others were found overnight, Johnson said. Local police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol were searching for the 17 others.

The state-owned Woodland Hills Youth Development Center held 78 teens at the time of the escape, and each had committed at least three felonies, Johnson said. The center has a school, offers vocational training and career counseling, and works to move teens to less restrictive settings, according to a state website.

The detention center was calm and back under control Tuesday morning, Johnson said. Police cars were on the scene, but there was little activity.

 

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