Six juvenile offenders — three 15-year-olds and three 14-year-olds — accused of escaping last weekend from Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie were charged today with first-degree escape.
Two of the 15-year-olds and one of the 14-year-olds were also charged with second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment for allegedly knocking a staff member unconscious before the escape. The three teens charged with assault will have a decline hearing in about two weeks so a judge can determine whether they should be tried in adult court.
The other three defendants will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow in King County Juvenile Court.
The escape was discovered about 11:30 p.m. Saturday when a female staff member at Echo Glen Children’s Center was found unconscious in a locked room, said King County sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. Witnesses told investigators that she had been beaten with a chunk of ice frozen in a water bottle.
After the assault, the alleged attackers took her keys and radio.
A Sheriff’s Office helicopter crew used thermal-imaging equipment to comb the area near the facility, and located the six boys.
West said that when spotted from the air, the boys broke into three groups of two and ran in different directions. Deputies from the sheriff’s K-9 unit used their dogs to find the boys in the woods.
They got about half a mile from Echo Glen before being captured about 3 a.m.
The injured staff member suffered a concussion and bruises.
According to court records, one 15-year-old from King County was serving a 65-week sentence after pleading guilty in February to residential burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and criminal trespass.
Another 15-year-old from King County was serving a 75-week sentence for second-degree assault. He pleaded guilty in November to attacking his grandmother and uncle with a knife and a baseball bat in an argument over an Xbox video-game system, according to court records.
A 15-year-old from Yakima County was sentenced to 170 to 230 weeks in July. A 14-year-old, also from Yakima County, was sentenced to 118 to 165 weeks in August. Both were charged with first-degree assault, theft of a motor vehicle and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
A 14-year-old from Clark County was sentenced in February to 67 to 101 weeks for first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree taking of a motor vehicle without permission and DUI.
A 14-year-old from Benton County was sentenced in January to 36 to 48 weeks for third-degree assault, third-degree theft, marijuana possession and resisting arrest.