Residents react to teens' escape from Jetson

POSTED: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 8:37pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 8:52pm

Three teenagers are back behind bars tonight after busting out of the Jetson Center for Youth Tuesday night. Their escape prompted a six hour manhunt all over the Baker and Zachary areas in East Baton Rouge parish. One Zachary resident was shocked that the teens were finally arrested so close to her home.

Nancy Laning had a feeling something wasn't right in her neighborhood.

"I heard the helicopters and they just kept flying around and around," she says.

Later that day, her suspicions were confirmed.

"I was gathering broccoli and all of a sudden, all of these police were everywhere!"

Hank Clark, Chantz Nix, and Collin Aymond broke out of the Jetson Center for Youth overnight. Officials discovered that they were gone early this morning. More than half a dozen law enforcement agencies teamed up around 8:00 am to find them. 

Agencies searched for the trio from the air, on the ground, and with dogs. Sightings from local residents led law enforcement to Baker. Their search continued at Zachary High School. That's where they learned that the boys had broken into a maintenance building on campus to change their clothes. The agencies finally caught up with the trio in the woods near Rollins Road and Rollins Extension.

"Don't try to come this way when you leave that facility," Baker Police Chief Mike Knapps says. "We will hunt you down and we're going to bring you back."

The teens are back at the correctional center, but not all of them are staying. Clark and Nix,  both 16-years-old, will do their time at Jetson. Aymond, however, is 19-years-old. Now, he'll be heading to East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Police say two of the inmates were at Jetson for property crimes. They say third was there on aggravated rape charges.

Jetson officials say their facility is secure. Escapes from Jetson don't happen often. The last was in 2007. They say they're still investigating how the boys got out.

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