Fight between jailed Baton Rouge, New Orleans teen gang members erupt into riot; 3 hurt in takeover
BRIDGE CITY - A state-run juvenile detention center near New Orleans was taken over from the inside Thursday night after roughly 20 inmates escaped their cells.
The riot happened around 9:45 p.m. inside the Bridge City Center for Youth. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said the juvenile offenders were able to seize control of some parts of the jail, and as many as 50 SWAT officers were called in to take back control of the facility.
The riot was fueled by feuding gangs from Baton Rouge and New Orleans housed in the same New Orleans-area facility.
The jail was taken back under control by around midnight.
Three people were taken to a hospital, including a jail employee and two juvenile inmates. The extent of their injuries was unclear.
The riot came just a day after five teens escaped the the same facility, which has been plagued by jailbreaks.
Later Friday, State Senator Pat Connick called for the closure of the Bridge City Youth Center.
Connick said the facility is not fit for the "worst of the worst," according to WWLTV. Connick represents the area where the facility is located.
“We need to shut down this facility and get these juveniles out of this neighborhood,” Connick said. “The facility is not designed to house violent inmates. The kids now know how to escape. They’re clever and cause chaos.”
The state is working on a plan to move 30 of the most violent teen offenders to the shuttered Jetson facility in Baker. Click HERE to read more about the plan.
The governor announced Friday, Louisiana State Police and the Department of Corrections agents will provide security at the New Orleans-area facility going forward.
The governor said in a statement Friday (6/17/22):
“Starting tonight, there will be more manpower on site at both Bridge City and Swanson providing extra security in order to ensure the safety of the youth, staff and the surrounding communities. Our goal is to make certain the unfortunate incidents that recently occurred at both facilities will not be repeated. It is an urgent situation, and this immediate solution will be in place for as long as necessary as we work to put a long term staffing plan in place to ensure the safety of the youth who have been entrusted to our care as well as the staff. We are in conversations about the longer term solution and nothing is off the table. The issues are complex, but chief among them are the lack of employees and the major disrepair of the Bridge City campus. We have been working with Deputy Secretary Bill Sommers to address the issues and will continue to do so. Our commitment has always been to keep the youth secure while supporting their rehabilitation and we have not and will not waiver from that.”
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