- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 31, 2001

A teen-age rape suspect who fled from a Maryland juvenile detention facility Monday was captured yesterday, although D.C. Youth Services Administration officials failed to immediately notify Maryland and D.C. police of his escape.
The youth escaped from Oak Hill in Jessup, Md., apparently by cutting through a fence. Police officers said that they were not aware that the boy — identified by Oak Hill and police sources as 15-year-old Daryl Caldwell — had escaped until Tuesday afternoon, almost a day after his escape.
When YSA officials informed police of the escape, they did not tell them the Caldwell youth — who has been accused of raping two women at gunpoint and who escaped from an ambulance three months ago — was a dangerous flight risk.
Attorneys from the D.C. Corporation Counsel did not petition the courts until yesterday asking that a photograph of the Caldwell youth be used.
D.C. police officials could not comment because he is a juvenile.
Carolyn Colvin, director of D.C. Department of Human Services, which oversees YSA, did not address in a written statement why police were not notified immediately about the Caldwell youths escape and would only concede that seven youths escaped on Monday. She said four of the juvenile delinquents were captured within six hours, another was captured yesterday and two are still missing.
She said they were able to cut through the fence after stealing a tool from a contractor. Three security staff have been placed on administrative leave until the conclusion of an investigation, she said.
The Caldwell youth and six other juveniles held at Oak Hill escaped about 5 p.m. Monday while they were playing basketball next to unit 8B, an Oak Hill employee said. The employee said it appears the Caldwell youth orchestrated the escape and had worked for about three days to cut a hole through the fence.
The fence is adjacent to Maryland Route 32 and is across the street from the National Security Agency. Five of the youths were immediately captured by the Maryland State Police, but it appeared that the Caldwell youth was able to hitch a ride.
The facility had fewer people working Monday because of the Memorial Day holiday, one employee said.
An employee said that despite the understaffing on Memorial Day, they were told to let the juvenile delinquents out of their housing all day, which he said was a security risk.
"They didnt want them locked up all day, so we had them out," the employee said.
The employee said there is no longer a regular check along the fence line, giving the youths time to cut their way through and escape.
Correctional officers said they are already understaffed and that absenteeism at the facility is high because of poor working conditions.
George Perkins, YSA deputy administrator at Oak Hill, did not return calls seeking comment.
An Oak Hill employee said youths are rarely disciplined for violating rules. When the Caldwell youth was returned to the facility after escaping from the ambulance, the employee said, he was placed in isolation for less than a month. Since then he has been in the general population with no extra security to prevent him from escaping again.
"He smirked at us," an employee said of the teen after his return to the facility. "He didnt have to pay, and he knew it."
The Caldwell youths juvenile records go back to 1995 and include charges of cocaine possession, burglary, possession of stolen property, distribution of cocaine and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse while armed.
He was charged with the Oct. 4 sexual assault of a 22-year-old D.C. government employee in the 500 block of 58th Street NE and another woman about two weeks earlier. Court records are sealed and the disposition of the two cases could not be determined.
The city employee was working in the 200 block of 61st Street NE taking water samples with two other government employees when the 15-year-old rode up on a bicycle. He talked to the three and pulled out a gun and robbed them, authorities said.
He forced the woman into a government vehicle and drove her to the 500 block of 58th Street SE, where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
He escaped from a private ambulance in March while being taken to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast for a psychiatric evaluation and was apprehended more than a week later.


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