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Escaped juvenile inmates steal car, run over victim in North Carolina

CONCORD, N.C (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Deputies in Cabarrus County say two 15-year-old boys who escaped state custody and carjacked a woman hit the victim with her own car Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, deputies say they filed juvenile charges against the teens for common-law robbery, larceny of a motor vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon, escape from a municipal confinement facility and injury to private property.

The juvenile inmates were in transit from Charlotte to the detention center in Concord, but after stealing the woman’s car, drove back into the Queen City.

“I know she’s very shaken up, I feel helpless,” said an N.C. Department of Juvenile Justice guard to 911.

The guard made the 911 call from the Lowes Foods grocery store gas station Thursday afternoon.

The incident report from the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office says the teens broke out a window of the transport van while the van was stopped on N.C. 49 in Harrisburg.

“They busted out, they were able to bust out of a van on 49, the carjacking occurred, the victim’s still here,” said the guard to the 911 dispatcher.

Investigators say the suspects ran to the Lowes Foods gas station, shoved a woman to the ground, stole her car, and hit her with it as they drove away.

Joshua O. and Jeremiah W. (Photo: N.C. Dept. of Public Safety)

“They take off, they didn’t care about her welfare at all,” said the guard on the 911 call.

Deputies say the carjacking victim had minor injuries.

Investigators say after the juvenile inmates left the gas station, they then ditched the car at an apartment complex in east Charlotte, grabbed another car and were later caught Thursday night on Brookshire Boulevard after they slammed into a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police vehicle.

There’s a state review underway into how the inmates got out of the van and whether they were secured when state guards left the Mecklenburg County courthouse.

State policy requires staff to put on handcuffs, a waist chain, and leg restraints on juveniles in transport.

A staff member must check the restraints at the pick-up location to make sure they’re applied correctly and double-locked.

“We really didn’t hook them back up, they brought down from court, while in restraints so we didn’t really deal with them, we got them in the van, didn’t know they were going to…,” the guard trailed off in his call to the 911 dispatcher.

The N.C. Department of Public Safety released the following statement to Queen City News when we inquired about the public safety concerns following Thursday’s incident:

The Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is conducting a thorough review of this incident. The Division takes escape situations very seriously, and works in close cooperation with law enforcement during these situations to safeguard public safety. 

Per DJJDP policy, a staff member shall apply handcuffs, blue (or black) box for chain-style handcuffs, waist chain, and leg restraints to each juvenile being transported. A transporting staff member shall physically check the mechanical restraints of any juvenile at the pick-up location to ensure the mechanical restraints are applied correctly and double locked. Staff shall not fasten attached mechanical restraints to any interior or exterior part of the vehicle or to another juvenile’s mechanical restraints.

Due to juvenile confidentiality laws established in G.S. 7B-3100 and G.S. 7B-3102, the division is unable to release additional information regarding these juveniles.

Department of Public Safety

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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