Thirty-two teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center by crawling under a weak spot in a fence late Monday, and nine of them were still on the run Tuesday, a spokesman said.
The teens – ages 14 to 19 – left their rooms at Woodland Hills Youth Development Center and went into a common area, where they overwhelmed 16 to 18 staff members, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services spokesman Rob Johnson said.
The group then kicked out a metal panel under a window to get out of the building and into a yard, Johnson said. The teens realized they could lift part of the chain-link fence surrounding the yard and get out, Johnson said.
He said the fence is buried 8 inches deep into the ground, but the teens managed to pull up a weak portion and get out underneath. Once staff members saw some of the group leaving, they called the police, Johnson said.
There were around 18 security guards on duty when the teens escaped, CBS News affiliate WTVF-TV reports. All were interviewed as part of the investigation.
Two teens were captured immediately and others were found overnight, Johnson said. Some were found by authorities, others turned themselves in, and others were turned in by their parents, he said.
Local police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol were still searching for 10 from the group Tuesday morning.
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