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Riot Breaks Out At Tennessee Detention Center Where 32 Teens Escaped

Police work in front of the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn.
Mark Humphrey
Police work in front of the Woodland Hills Youth Development Center on Tuesday in Nashville, Tenn.

A youth detention center in Tennessee that saw the escape of 32 teens on Tuesday is back in the news today: Blake Farmer of NPR member station WPLN tells our Newscast unit that about 20 of them rioted overnight.

Blake filed this report:

"Teens could be seen carrying pipes and spraying fire extinguishers, running around the yard of the Woodland Hills youth detention center, which houses youth who've committed at least three felonies.

"A couple-dozen police cruisers surrounded the facility most of the night, and a helicopter hovered overhead after 20 detainees broke out of their dormitories. Tennessee Department of Children's Services Commissioner Jim Henry tells WSMV-TV that many of them are the same troubled teens who escaped Monday night.

" 'For 24 years, nobody figured out how to breach them and all the sudden these kids figured out how to breach these doors,' Henry said. 'They're going to be repaired.'

"State officials say some of the teens may be charged with assaulting guards, who suffered minor injuries. Meanwhile, several of those who escaped earlier this week are still on the loose."

The Tennessean reports that this morning 24 teens were seen handcuffed. The paper adds that 10 teens whom officials described as "ring leaders" have been "taken to a detention facility in Rutherford County."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.