Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Three juvenile offenders escape Cheltenham; one is still at large

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A teenager who escaped Cheltenham Youth Facility was still at large Wednesday, a week after he and two others used using wire cutters to cut a hole through a fence and run from the center.

Shortly before 7:30 a.m. Aug. 14, Maryland State Police arrested Demarco Emmanuel Smith, 18, of Washington, D.C. with assistance from Metropolitan Police.

Smith was arrested without incident at the residence in the 700 block of 24th Street in Northeast Washington and is being held by the Metropolitan Police Department until he is taken back to Maryland. Upon his return to Maryland, he will be charged as an adult with escape, according to the Maryland State Police.

A 17-year-old escapee was captured the evening of Aug. 11 by Maryland Transit Authority Police in Baltimore County and was returned to Cheltenham.

Maryland state troopers and local law enforcement continue to search for Tyrone Earl Johnson, 18, of Baltimore, said Sgt. Arthur Betts with Maryland State Police. There have not been any sightings of him.

Johnson is an African-American male, 5-feet, 8-inches tall, and 135 pounds. He will also be charged with escape.

Johnson, Smith, and the 17-year-old were being held at Cheltenham on charges of assault, robbery, armed carjacking and drug possession.

State police from the Forestville Barracks were called to the Cheltenham Youth Facility shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 after the three escaped, according to Maryland State Police.

House Republicans said the public should have been better notified of the escape.

Maryland State Police issued a press release Aug. 12, two days after the incident. A small section of the community was notified through an automated phone system.

"The [Martin] O'Malley Administration has failed in its duty to protect the citizens of Maryland," Minority Leader Anthony J. O'Donnell said in a statement issued Aug. 13. "Reliance on an automated phone system is not enough. It is foolish to think these escapees would stay in the immediate area; the entire State should have been notified."

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