NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The search continues for three teens who escaped from the Youth Opportunity Juvenile Detention Center Saturday night.
Youth Service detectives continue to follow leads in their efforts to track down 16-year-old Ervyon Moore, 15-year-old Bruce Johnson Jr., and 17-year-old Bryan Reid.
Metro police said the teens overpowered a guard and escaped the detention center around 11:30 Saturday night. A fourth escapee was found several hours later at a nearby convenience store.
It’s a reoccurring problem that residents in the Donelson area have dealt with for years.
“I’m not actually afraid, but it’s a danger to the area they keep getting out,” Terry Hogan who lives near the facility told News 2.
Christopher Jackson agreed, calling the situation concerning.
“You don’t want them out getting hurt or hurting anyone else you know just getting into trouble because it’s easy to find trouble around here,” Jackson said.
The concern heightened with freezing temperatures.
“You never know, especially when it’s inclement weather like this, people get desperate I guess and you know they look for shelter,” said Jackson.
Metro police detectives believe the teens may have made it out of the city and could be in East Tennessee or the north Georgia area.
News 2 reached out for more information on why the teens were being housed at the facility. In April of 2020, Chattanooga police listed Moore as missing and endangered.
“It’s concerning, it’s very concerning ya know,” said Jackson.
Youth Opportunity Investments, based out of Indiana, took over the facility after the Department of Children’s Services ended their contract with TrueCore nearly two years ago, but the location has a long history of troubles. The latest escape marks eight incidents News 2 has covered on the property dating back to a riot in 2016.
“That’s crazy you know,” said Hogan, adding that there are plenty of hiding spots in the wooded area that lines neighborhoods nearby.
Youth Opportunity Investments also runs the downtown detention facility where video from 2017 showed a juvenile escape from a bathroom before falling through a ceiling, and in 2019, four teens, including two murder suspects, escaped the downtown facility.
“They need to do something about it,” said Hogan.
News 2 reached out to Youth Opportunity Investments for comment but has not yet heard back.