More violence erupts inside Bridge City Center for Youth
It was another violent incident inside the Bridge City Center for Youth.
This time, police say four juvenile offenders were involved in an escape from their dorm, and two of them brutally beat correctional officers. Deputies arrested Melvin Cloud and Trayjon Simmons, both 17. Both are being held in the Jefferson Parish jail. The other two offenders involved were two 15-year-olds.
According to the arrest report, Cloud and one of the 15-year-old offenders walked up to the staff desk and started hitting a correctional officer with a white sock that contained something hard. The officer started screaming. The report states that the juveniles took the officer's department radio and keys to the facility. They then ran to the back door of the dorm, unlocked it and fled. The report states that Simmons and another juvenile also left the dorm. When another correctional officer tried to retrieve the stolen keys and radio, the report states that Cloud hit her in the head until she was knocked unconscious.
All four juveniles eventually returned to the dorm, and a source told FOX 8 that the two correctional officers were seriously hurt. Once of them sustained a severe head injury.
"What we know is when you have these incidents of violence, it's not about who's in there, it's really indicative of how the facility is being run," said Aaron Clark-Rizzio.
Rizzio is the executive director of the Louisiana Center for Children's Rights, which is the juvenile public defender's office for Orleans Parish. He spoke with FOX 8 last week after several other reports of violence inside the youth facility came to light, including one about a supervisor who was terminated for allegedly chocking a youth offender.
Last Tuesday, four more youth offenders ended up in the Jefferson Parish jail after police said they choked and punched a correctional officer. Police also said one of those offenders punched a plexiglass door until it broke and hit another correctional officer in the face.
"They have two jobs. Their job is to keep the children safe and to rehabilitate them, so when we see these incidents of violence, we know they are not doing both of those jobs," Clark-Rizzio said.