Louisiana juvenile escapees, guard who aided them, arrested in Houston

Published: May. 15, 2022 at 7:14 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Three violent teen criminals and the guard who helped them escape from a Northwest Louisiana juvenile detention center were captured early Sunday (May 15) at a Texas motel, authorities said.

The fugitives managed to get 256 miles away before being recaptured shortly after midnight at motel in Houston. The Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office said the teens escaped Saturday around 3 a.m. from the Ware Youth Center in Coushatta, La., with the help of 21-year-old WYC security guard Victoria Tune.

The escapees were identified as 17-year-old Tyjuan Lafitte of Caddo Parish, 15-year-old Jeremiah Durham of Bossier Parish, and 17-year-old Na’Varaya Lane of DeSoto Parish.

Each of the teens was incarcerated in connection with violent felony crimes: Lafitte for attempted first-degree murder, Durham for armed robbery and Lane for attempted second-degree murder.

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Tune and the teens, along with one relative of an escapee, were apprehended by officers from the Houston Police Department’s Midwest Crime Suppression Team, which had kept Tune’s car used in the escape under surveillance for “several hours” at the Houston motel where it was found. Once the suspects and the relative returned to the vehicle, they were surrounded and arrested without incident, according to Lt. Troy Murray, spokesman for the Red River Parish Sheriff’s Office.

That agency, along with the Louisiana State Police and the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office, assisted in the investigation of the escape that culminated with the arrests by Houston police.

The escapees and Tune will be extradited back to Louisiana and face additional charges stemming from the escape. Tune will be booked with three counts of accessory to simple escape, Murray said.

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