LAUREL, Md. (WUSA) Washington DC authorities are investigating a Father’s Day disturbance at the New Beginnings Youth Development Center, the Laurel facility that houses the District’s most violent juvenile offenders.
Sources tell 9 NEWS NOW that shortly after 7:20 pm Sunday, some or all of the 70 juveniles currently living in the facility refused to enter their electronically controlled bedroom units and engaged staffers in some type of altercation.
The confrontation soon escalated into a “riot situation” according to Tasha Williams, a spokesperson with the detention facility’s police union is concerned that there may be more incidents like this in the future.
A shift supervisor who responded to the disturbance was assaulted, his jaw fractured and an electronic master key stolen by one or more of the juveniles according to sources. “We expect there will be criminal charges against some of them” added Williams.
When response units from the Metropolitan Police Department and other local agencies responded to the incident, some of the detainees were found wandering through the facility at will while others were on the roof, “officers needed to remove some of the children from the roof” Williams said. none of the juveniles escaped the Center.
The $44 million dollar facility opened in May of 2009, and was meant to provide a more humane way of incarcerating and rehabilitating the District’s youthful offenders.
However union officials say the facility meant to house 60 youngsters between the ages of 15-20 currently holds 70 and staffers are unable to safely supervise their charges, especially because of the more open nature of the structure’s design. “It’s been open season on staffers, they are being continually assaulted by the and this needs to come to a stop” concluded williams. “The juveniles need to be taught a lesson, they continually assault our officers , that’s been the status quo”
DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier along with other high ranking police officials were on the scene but were unavailable for interviews.