By Tammy Moore Teague
On Monday evening, around 6:30 p.m., four males escaped the Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Facility. By 10 a.m., Tuesday morning, all four had been captured and taken into custody.
The male escapees were described as two white, one bi-racial and one Marshall Islander. The juveniles were 15 to 17 years of age.
The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office, the Arkansas State Police, the Mansfield Police Department and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office worked throughout the night to capture the four.
Around 2 a.m. this morning, a worker from the facility spotted one of the juveniles standing in front of the Dollar General store in Mansfield. They pulled in and the juvenile fled on foot. A van also fled the parking lot.
Upon investigation, authorities with the Mansfield Police Department discovered the two had broken out the front glass to the store and had stolen some cigarettes and some chips.
Meanwhile, the fleeing van was spotted by SCSO on Highway 71 and Hendrix Road near Greenwood. SCSO attempted to stop the vehicle, however, the vehicle failed to yield. The van led officers from several agencies on a pursuit which led into Fort Smith. From Fort Smith, the vehicle fled from officers south toward Hackett. In Hackett, law enforcement was able to set up spike sticks and the vehicle was rendered inoperable. The driver was discovered to be one of the escapees. He is currently in custody at the Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Center. He is charged with escape, theft by receiving, fleeing, and reckless driving. The vehicle the juvenile was driving was discovered to be stolen from an apartment in Mansfield. He was captured at around 2:30 a.m. No one was injured in the pursuit and speeds never got over 65 mph.
Because of the ongoing search this morning for the remaining three escapees, the Mansfield School District placed the entire campus on lock down. A blanket text message was sent out to all parents and guardians of the students to advise them of the security measure.
At around 9:15 a.m., two juvenile males were seen walking in Mansfield near City Hall. When law enforcement sought to make contact, the two fled on foot. Both have since been captured after foot chases.
Shortly thereafter, at approximately 10 a.m., the last remaining escapee was captured near the trailer park in Mansfield. These escapees were captured without incident by the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office. All four are now in custody and will be taken to the Sebastian County Juvenile Detention Center. Following the capture, the Mansfield School District lifted its precautionary district-wide lock down.
By Tammy Moore Teague