Two teenagers still on the loose after escaping from Kailua youth facility
Updated On: Apr 04 2014 08:47:37 PM HST
Two teenagers are still on the loose Friday night after escaping from the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility in Kailua Thursday morning. The escapes forced two schools to close for the day and put one high school on high alert. Neighbors say they are keeping their doors locked.
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It was in Maunawili near Auloa Road where the two 17-year-old escapees were last seen Thursday evening. To ensure safety, Maunawili Elementary and Olomana School were closed on Friday; on Thursday, both were on lockdown. Kailua High School was on a perimeter lockdown on Friday.
"The teacher told us to go in the classroom and lock all the windows and doors," said Kaira Comeaux, a third-grader at Maunawili Elementary School.
"There are too many unknowns when folks are escaping a situation. Usually they are desperate and we don't know what could happen," said Donalyn Dela Cruz with the state Department of Education.
The Department of Human Services said the teens' overall risk to public safety is not considered high. Both are there for a robbery charge. One was committed for five months, the other for 10 months. Officials say neither has a history of violence. The two boys ran while participating in a vocational education class at the maintenance shop which is outside the walls of the facility.
"We are kind of used to it. Whenever we hear it, we kind of lock everything up," said resident Milton Comeaux.
Neighbors are used to it because in 2013 alone there have been four escapes. But residents said there's no clear warning when a juvenile escapes. They only hear the siren of schools going into lockdown. If the escapee is caught, neighbors are still left in the blue.
"I think we would all be more at ease if we knew if they caught them or if they let us know that they are not in the area somehow," said neighbor Charles Parks.
"All this time, maybe a lot of people are biting their nails, wondering, and that would be nice to have some kind of warning that everything is safe now," said neighbor Buddy Costa.
Residents said in the past they've seen escapees from the facility hiding in what neighbors call the "Banana Patch," or running past their homes.
It's not the first time for one of the boys, who ran from a doctor's appointment and now has a pending escape charge.
If caught the boys, face a criminal charge of escape.
Police say the two teenagers are: both between 5-foot-9 and 5-10, and both weigh about 200 pounds. Both have short black hair and brown eyes, and both were last seen wearing orange shirts.
You are asked to call the Honolulu Police Department at 587-1288 if you have any information.
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