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4 teens escape juvenile justice facility in Florida after staging a fight

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Four teenagers escaped a juvenile justice facility in Jacksonville, Florida, after staging a fight in their room and then stealing a vehicle, police said.

After attacking staff members who came to stop the fight on Saturday, the suspects fought with staff in the control room and released the front door, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said. They then stole a staff member’s cellphone and car keys and fled in her bronze 2015 Infiniti Q50 with the Florida tag LANE19.

The escaped inmates include Tajah Bing, 16, committed on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim less than 12 years old; Davionne Baldwin, 17, committed on charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle and violation of probation; Tyjuan Monroe, 16, committed on charges of robbery with a firearm and grand theft of a motor vehicle; and Marcus Ledbetter, committed on a burglary charge.

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Monroe and Ledbetter have been caught, but the other two teens and the vehicle “could be anywhere,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet Sunday. 

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice said in a statement that it is investigating the incident and suspended admissions to the facility from which the teens escaped.

“The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has commenced an immediate investigation into the escape of four youth at Jacksonville Youth Academy, a residential commitment program run by contracted provider TrueCore Behavioral Solutions,” the statement read. “The Department takes escape incidents such as these very seriously, and if we discover through our investigation that failures of policies and procedures have occurred, we will take contract action against this provider.”

Authorities urged anyone who spots the inmates to call 911 or contact the sheriff’s office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. Anyone with information on their whereabouts can contact Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000.

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Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

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