Six boys serving time a state juvenile detention center in Snoqualmie were arrested this morning after authorities say they planned a violent escape that left a staff member at the facility injured and police searching for them in the woods.
A female staff member at Echo Glen Children’s Center was found unconscious around 11:30 p.m. last night, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. Witnesses told investigators that the staff member was beaten with a bottle filled with frozen water, West added.
After the assault, the suspected attackers, ages 14 and 15, took the staff member’s keys and radio. The staff member was found unconscious in a locked room, authorities said.
“She was unconscious and some other kids [at the facility] found her. They called for help,” West said. “It definitely appears this was planned. The detective on the scene said when they found the boys they had their packed bags with them.”
The sheriff’s office, the Washington State Patrol and Snoqualmie police were brought in to search for the boys and investigate, West said. The sheriff’s office helicopter searched the area near the facility, 33010 SE 99th Street in Snoqualmie, and located the six boys.
West said that when the boys were spotted by authorities in a wooded area they 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; several of the teenagers were bitten, West added.
One of the boys is at Harborview Medical Center, in Seattle, being treated for dog bites. He is expected to join the other five at the King County Youth Service Center. The six will be held at the Seattle juvenile jail for investigation of second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and escape, West said.
Three of the youths are 14, the other three are 15. The majority of them were at Echo Glen for assault and firearms convictions, West said.
The staff member who was hurt in the assault is expected to recover, West said.
According to the Department of Social and Health Services, Echo Glen is a medium/maximum security facility that is not fenced, but bordered by natural wetlands. The facility houses younger male offenders and juvenile female offenders.
Echo Glen is part of the state’s Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, which is part of the Department of Social and Health Services.