Teenage inmates took over part of juvenile facility, inciting a riot
BATON ROUGE - Sources provided documents to the WBRZ Investigative Unit showing just how serious the situation was at the East Baton Rouge Parish Juvenile facility Friday night when paramedics, firefighters and police were summoned to the facility.
When WBRZ inquired about the situation Friday, officials told us it was a "false alarm."
Documents show that was not true, and 16 year-old Remere Scott freed eight inmates from their secure cells and broke windows and cell doors.
"Scott began to use his body as a ram when striking the cell doors until they finally opened. As a result of Scott's action, a total of nine doors were destroyed and have to be replaced," documents said.
Scott and the inmates then roamed the wing of their housing unit and started breaking double pane windows using a fire extinguisher.
"Scott threw the fire extinguisher into the window on multiple occasions until he created a hole big enough for him to exit out of," the document notes. "Once near the outer door of the facility, Scott shattered an exterior window but could not exit due to the bars covering the window from the outside."
Since last fall, The WBRZ Investigative Unit began asking for interviews with Dr. Tamaira Wade, who is in charge of the facility. Each time we request an interview with her, the city-parish says she can't talk.
"She's busy running the facility, and under her watch we had this raise the age program," Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel said. "She has made changes in that facility under her watch. The youth now get school accreditation, Carnegie credits."
WBRZ asked Gissel if the facility is safe if a teen can open the doors with their own body weight.
"Again, it's accredited," Gissel said. "So, each year we go through the state to make sure we are up to standards, and we are."
Gissel said a new facility is needed for juveniles.
"For over a year now, we've been trying to evaluate plans for new facilities," Gissel said. "Hillar (Moore) has talked about the need for a new facility. Both the jail and juvenile services were built back in the 60s. Standards have changed."
In October, The WBRZ Investigative Unit reported teens beat and locked guards in a jail cell as they bolted free. Three youths escaped using keys to steal one of the guard's vehicles. Two others ran away.
With so much going on, Gissel blames state law called "raise the age", where teens who are 17 are considered juveniles.
"Over the last months since "raise the age", we've had three episodes," Gissel said. "I think all of those episodes included someone in that age range."
One of the juveniles was hurt during the riot and needed stitches. Sources at the facility tell WBRZ to make the security adequate, they'd need an additional 15 guards. Scott is charged with riot, second-degree battery and damage to property.
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