EUCLID, Ohio (WJW) – Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court officials tell the Fox 8 I-Team they have recently made changes to admission criteria to deal with the increasing rise in teens taking part in carjackings and vehicle thefts.
We received a statement from court officials, after local police officers voiced their concern about the hundreds of Kia thefts and arrest of several teens charged with some of the crimes.
“I know it’s a system that’s overwhelmed,“ said Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer. “I get that but when you get these kids that continually steal these cars and there are no consequences they just get back out and continue to steal these cars.”
Meyer and Euclid Police Captain Mitch Houser said on Feb. 8 three young teenagers, two 14-year-olds and one 15-year-old, were arrested after they were seen crashing stolen Kias and then fleeing. The Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court refused to house the three, and they were sent home to their parents.
The one teen continually yelled at the officers and attempted to spit on them.
“Who do you think you are,” the teen said to the officer. “You dumb— can’t even handcuff me right. You dumb—.”
The chief said the teens do not seem to be concerned about being arrested.
“I certainly think that it would be a wake-up call to them,” the chief said. “A ride to the juvenile justice center and a short stay, if nothing else. I really think that would be beneficial.”
Juvenile court officials sent us the following statement detailing the changes:
Here is a summary of current admission criteria and what the court has done recently to be responsive to the issues brought up by Law Enforcement.
The Court recognizes the recent increase in car thefts and carjackings, is aware of the community concern and is committed to community safety; therefore, in addition to the current admission criteria for a felony level 1 offenses (Murder, Rape, Kidnapping), felony level 2 offenses (Burglary, Robbery, Felonious Assault) gun offenses, and sex offenses, the Court will work with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and law enforcement agencies to assess each potential admission on a case-by-case basis. Youth arrested for Grand Theft Motor Vehicles, Receiving Stolen Property (of a Motor Vehicle), Failure to Comply, or Fleeing or Alluding will be carefully reviewed and considered for detention center admission. There are numerous factors to be considered and admission will be based on each case to address numerous community safety issues. Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court is involved in discussions with community agencies and other with jurisdictions, as this is a national trend on the rise. The Court is committed to addressing the issue with the support of law enforcement agencies and youth-specific service providers.