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Officers quell disturbances at juvenile centers

By Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

February 23, 2014

CHARLESTON — Officials of the state Division of Military Affairs and Public Safety confirmed late Friday that additional law enforcement was called to two state juvenile facilities last week.


DMAPS spokesman Lawrence Messina said the incidents occurred at Boone County’s Donald R. Kuhl Center and the Lorrie Yeager Jr. Center in Wood County.


Officials said the two incidents were apparently unrelated.


On Sunday afternoon, February 16, Messina said “residents and staff were involved in an altercation.” The incident apparently began when residents of the center began to fight among themselves. As staff officers attempted to break up the battle, at least one officer was injured, according to Messina.


The injury to the staff officer led to the call for outside police agencies to respond, said the spokesman.


An official inside the facility said the fight escalated when inmates managed to open a foosball game table. Inside, the official said the inmates found “metal weapons, something like spears.” The addition of the weapons to the scene also caused the call for outside law enforcement backup, the source said.


Because those involved in the melee are juveniles, no further information is available to the public. Messina confirmed that those involved were under the age of 18 years.