Six high risk juvenile offenders were captured early this morning, September 23rd, after they assaulted a staff member and escaped from Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie.
According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, “Echo Glen is a medium/maximum security facility that is not fenced, but bordered by natural wetlands. It provides treatment services for younger male offenders and is the only institution for female offenders.”
The incident started around 11:30PM last night, September 22nd. A female Echo Glen staff member was attacked and left unconscious by six male juvenile offenders. The juveniles then took her keys, radio and locked her in a room. According to King County Sheriffs Sergeant Cindi West, the injured officer was found “pretty quickly” by other juvenile residents who heard and reported the incident.
West went on to say that all Echo Glen residents are housed in separate rooms and the offenders hit some sort of release button, opening all doors on the wing where the incident occurred before fleeing.
King County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and were assisted by Washington State Patrol troopers and Snoqualmie Police Department officers.
A perimeter was quickly established in the wooded area near the facility and the Sheriff’s Office Guardian One Helicopter arrived to search the area using a FLIR – forward looking infrared, thermal imaging.
Guardian One was able to locate the six offenders using the FLIR. When spotted by the helicopter, the offenders split up into three groups and ran in different directions. Deputies in the helicopter directed deputies and K-9’s Units on foot in the wooded area to the locations of the offenders.
Sgt. West said King County Sheriffs did not alert residents “because we had a perimeter set up immediately around the wooded area and our helicopter immediately spotted them so we knew we had them contained. It was just a matter of having the helicopter direct ground troops into them individually to make the arrests.”
One offender was bitten by a K-9 dog while trying to escape apprehension. He was taken to Harborview for treatment. The other five offenders were in custody by 2:30AM and then booked at the Youth Services Center for Assault 2, Unlawful Imprisonment and Escape.
Three of the offenders were 14 years old and the other three were 15 years old. Most were in Echo Glen for Assault and Firearms convictions.