I TEAM: Uncovering more about teen inmates gone wild

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CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I TEAM is uncovering more of the story behind an estimated $200,000 worth of damage inside the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center caused by teen inmates on a rampage.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor is waiting for final reports from sheriff’s deputies before filing criminal charges.

A source close to the case says the inmates went wild after a simple order from detention center staff. The teens had been told to get ready for lockdown, and they refused.

While law enforcement sources described what happened as a riot, an incident report just released refers only to “disturbances”. The trouble lasted about 3 hours and finally ended after “lengthy negotiations” and a visit from the sheriff’s department SWAT team.

A news release from Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court referred only to vandalism, a broken TV, and broken glass. But pictures and video obtained by the I TEAM show much more than that.

Through a spokesperson, the Chief Judge refused an interview with the I TEAM. We also did not receive answers to some questions sent by e-mail.

When was the last time the detention center had a drill there to handle a riot with outside police agencies? And what about staffing?

Multiple law enforcement sources told us, they could not remember any training drills there.

Meantime, last summer, the I TEAM revealed more than a dozen detention center officers taken off the job and investigated after video showed water or urine thrown in the face of an inmate. Six months later, we’ve found 8 workers still on paid leave.

Two inmates involved in this matter already face charges for the murder of a 12-year-old. Others involved have records for violent crimes too. Now, they could face vandalism charges and maybe even more.

Taxpayers are furious. We gave some a close look at the pictures of the damage. They don’t like taxpayers getting stuck with the repair bill. One man said, “They’re doing the time, they should pay for it. Their families should pay for it. Not us. Not the taxpayers.”

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