BRIDGE CITY, La. — Twenty youths held at the Bridge City Center for Youth briefly took over several areas inside the facility on Thursday night before a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office SWAT team was able to regain control.
The disturbance at the troubled facility started shortly before 10 p.m., and order was not restored to the campus until 12:45, according to the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice.
The uprising happened less than 24 hours after five youths being housed at the center escaped by cutting a hole in a bathroom ceiling on Wednesday morning.
A spokesperson for the JPSO said that two youths and one staff member were injured in the uprising and require medical attention. The OJJ said one youth was treated and was later released. The staff member suffered a minor injury.
The OJJ said that youths involved in the uprising were transferred to another OJJ facility.
The uprising and the early morning escape were just the latest troubling incidents at the justice center that several neighbors said should be shut down.
The group that escaped early Thursday apparently cut a hole through a bathroom ceiling, then came through a break in the fence being Terence Feazell's yard.
"They pulled on a couple of car doors and they went on down the street, dressed in their little uniforms, white t-shirt, black shorts," Feazell said. "I knew that’s where they had came from."
At least 20 inmates have escaped from the Bridge City Center for Youth in just over a year. It's become so commonplace for this neighborhood that Roy Phoenix wasn't surprised when he saw them run by his home this morning.
“I be on that next street over there, and they come right straight out through the fence," he said. "That’s how they get out. They’ve got that light sitting out there to try to catch them. That don’t stop them. They get out in a minute.”
We called Office of Juvenile Justice Secretary Bill Sommers to ask why this keeps happening, but he didn't want to talk.
"We’ve released a press release and that’s all we’re going to do on it," Sommers said.