4 teens arrested in WBR & released due to no space in juvenile detention centers

“That’s a damn shame” ~ District Attorney Tony Clayton  "We had to turn them over to their parents with a slap on the wrist. We need a place for juveniles" ~ Addis Police Chief Ricky Anderson

DASH CAMERA VIDEO OF CHASE

The Addis Police Chief & 18th JDC District Attorney are livid after four teens from Plaquemine were arrested Sunday for stealing a vehicle and leading multiple agencies on a chase but then released to return home.

“That’s a damn shame,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton.

Around Noon on Sunday, Feb. 6th, Brusly police were alerted to a stolen white Chevy truck on La1 near Brusly High School thanks to a license plate reader.

The truck then went to the RaceTrac in Addis which is why Addis Police officers pursued. 

PICTURE OF STOLEN TRUCK FROM LICENSE PLATE READER IN BRUSLY

Addis Police Chief Ricky Anderson said there were five teenagers in the truck. After “pretending” to get gas at the gas station, when officers attempted to stop the truck, the driver took off leading officers on a chase. Officers from Addis & Brusly Police as well as deputies from the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office assisted in the chase.

The driver went the wrong way on La1 driving into oncoming traffic, smashed into an Addis Police unit totaling it and injuring the officer and broke several traffic laws before the truck finally crashed at Myhand St. & La1. After the crash, five teens ran, but four were arrested immediately. 

The Baton Rouge Police Dept. provided their K-9 units and a drone to help find the fifth teen, but the search was unsuccessful.

Names and mugshots of the four arrested cannot be released because they are juveniles. Chief Anderson said all the teens are from Plaquemine. All four who were arrested were charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated assault of a police officer, juvenile in possession of a firearm and aggravated flight from an officer.

But perhaps the worst part, Chief Anderson said the teens had to be released back to their parents due to no availability at any juvenile detention centers in Louisiana.

“We had to turn them over to their parents with a slap on the wrist. We need a place for juveniles. Regardless of the cost, we need one in West Baton Rouge. Somehow, someway, we need a juvenile center. We need one bad,” said Chief Anderson.

“If a juvenile commits a murder in New York state, it’s not right that Louisiana citizens would have to pay via taxes to house that juvenile. So why are we committing the same thing? It’s borderline unconstitutional,” said Clayton. “It’s our problem and the State of Louisiana should have to fix the problem. We’re spending between $400-$600 a day to house juveniles in another state. That’s crazy.”

The injured officer was hit on the driver side and his knees are sore, but expected to be okay.

Meanwhile, the search continues for the fifth teen. The bigger issue however is where would he go once he’s arrested? Would he too be released to his parents?

This is the second known time juveniles have been released to their parents after committing a crime. Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux was livid in Dec. 2021 after chasing three teens for stealing vehicles and breaking into them only to arrest them and release them to their parents. Juvenile detention centers in Louisiana had no room to take any juveniles.

About Kiran Chawla 907 Articles
I'm an Emmy & Murrow Award winning investigative reporter who simply loves my job!

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