NJ juvenile detention guards plead for help as inmates escape
EGG HARBOR CITY — A woman who called in an escape from the Harborfields Youth Detention Center gave the operator play-by-play of what was going on in the early morning hours of Nov. 15.
Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyler said the four stole keys from one of the guards and made their escape from the facility in his car. They eventually crashed the car into a house and continued their escape on foot. Three of the juveniles were captured several hours later in Bridgeton. A fourth, Michael Huggins, was apprehended a day later in Atlantic City.
A woman can be heard on 911 recordings released by Egg Harbor City Police telling the operator that the only other guard on duty with her got into a violent fight with four inmates.
"Please help," she repeatedly says.
The woman then tells the operator that the four were trying to leave.
“They’re trying to get the car,” she said. “They’re out! They’re out of the building!"
In another clip, a man tells the operator that three juveniles were trying to escape the facility. He says he doesn't know their exact location within Harborfields.
Huggins, 18, of Bridgeton, was arrested in Atlantic City at an apartment on South Carolina Avenue. Huggins was denied bail at a hearing last Wednesday and was considered a "quintessential flight risk" by Judge Bernard DeLury.
Huggins is charged with the October 2016 fatal shooting of Davonte Lee in Bridgeton. Huggins was at a juvenile center because he was 17 at the time of the slaying.
Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson told the Press of Atlantic City that the guards on duty the night of the escape violated rules and procedure when one of the inmates asked for a glass of water.
Egg Harbor City Police have not yet supplied the same audio files to New Jersey 101.5.
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