NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Police say 4 juvenile suspects have been arrested and another is at large after they escaped from the Bridge City Center for Youth on Thursday, March 17.
According to the facility, police are actively searching for 16-year-old Curtis Tassin. He is described as being a 6’1 Black male, weighing about 180 pounds with a history of violence. He is considered armed and dangerous.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz confirms that at 4:20 a.m. on Thursday morning, Tassin, along with four other juveniles, escaped from Bridge City.
A facility spokesperson told WGNO the 5 escaped through an attic space, crediting “human error on their part” for the missing juveniles, adding that “someone wasn’t doing their due diligence” when the escape happened.
After the escape, the 5 reportedly stole a struck in Jefferson Parish just after 10 a.m. and headed west.
Later, the truck was spotted in the Carencro area headed toward Opelousas — a place at least 2 suspects were confirmed to have been from.
Later that morning at 11:30, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a flipped vehicle near the 100 block of Richard Road just southwest of Opelousas.
Police say several people were seen running from the crash site and ran into city limits.
The SLPSO, along with Opelousas PD and the Office of Juvenile Justice captured and arrested the four juvenile suspects without incident. Police also arrested 32-year-old Keenan Grice and 18-year-old Bryson Lemelle in connection to the incident.
The two adults were booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail while the four juveniles were taken into custody by the Office of Juvenile Justice.
Two of the suspects are confirmed to be from Opelousas, another is from New Orleans. It is unclear where the other 2 suspects are from.
Officials say guards noticed the escapees missing on Thursday morning after searching the facility. It is believed they escaped through an attic space.
A spokesperson told WGNO they credit “human error on their part” for the missing juveniles, adding that “someone wasn’t doing their due diligence” when the escape happened.
The facility is expected to release an official statement later on Thursday.
Neighbors in the Bridge City and Harahan area were alerted of the five teens escaping.
Harlee Underwood lives nearby and said when she got the alert she got scared.
“Not enough security officers watching them. This is happening way too often, just close it down,” she said.
Back in November of 2021, three juveniles escaped and were later caught about two weeks later.
“You just have to keep your guard up. Just keep your doors locked at all times. I mean how do you think they ended up in there in the first place. They committed a crime, and they are going to commit crimes to try and stay out of it,” she said.