Two juveniles caught after escape

Published 6:26 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two boys are now back in the custody of the Alabama Department of Youth Services because they were caught shortly after they escaped from authorities at the northbound Clanton rest area on I-65 Tuesday morning.

The suspects, ages 14 and 15, were being transported in a DYS vehicle from the juvenile facility at Mt. Meigs in Montgomery to the Vacca campus in Birmingham. Names of the suspects were not released because they are juveniles.

DYS public information officer Allen Peaton said the corrections officers transporting the suspects had stopped at the rest area to allow the boys a chance to use the restroom.

“As soon as the doors were opened, [the suspects] took off running,” Peaton said. “This was the first day that the boys were in our custody. That’s not the best way to start with us.”

After the suspects fled the rest area, DYS notified all surrounding agencies including the Chilton County Sheriff’s, Clanton Police, Jemison Police and Thorsby Police departments. A state trooper helicopter and the Alabama Department of Corrections dog team also assisted in the search.

A perimeter was set up from the rest area north to near County Road 43. Just over an hour after the incident began, Sheriff Kevin Davis and Deputy Lee Faulkner spotted the boys. When the suspects realized they had been spotted, they ran across I-65 and then tried to escape through some woods, but Faulkner and Davis maintained pursuit and apprehended the suspects minutes later.

“All of the agencies had a perimeter set up. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Davis said. “We had great cooperation from everyone involved.”

Peaton said one suspect was facing receiving stolen property charges and the other had robbery charges.

“We have now added escape to their charges,” he said. “That means they will be staying with us for a longer period of time.”

Peaton also wanted to add his thanks to all the agencies that helped apprehend the suspects quickly.