Youngstown investigators say teen escapee scaled 20-foot-high ra - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Teen is suspected of carjacking

Youngstown investigators say teen escapee scaled 20-foot-high razor wire fence

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Police in the Valley are on the lookout for 17-year-old Jeremy Britton, who authorities say jumped over two fences to escape from the Mahoning County Juvenile Justice Center just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

One of the fences is 20-feet high and both have razor wire at the top.

According to Magistrate Carla Baldwin and JJC Detention Director Jason Lanzo, the 17-year-old was out on recreation which their residents are required to receive.  

Britton put a little distance between himself and the court supervisors and that's when he made his move over the 20-foot fence and then over a second fence, both topped with the razor wire.  

It's unclear if he was cut or hurt.  JJC staff and Mahoning County Sheriff's Deputies who work on staff were immediately notified and tried to stop him.

Britton had only been at the detention center for less than a month, and sources outside of the detention facility confirm to 21 News that he was charged with a felony for allegedly robbing the Poland Burger King back on April 3rd along with three others.

Police say Britton fled the Juvenile Justice Center to Youngstown's Smoky Hollow neighborhood where he car-jacked a woman on Adams Street at about 10 a.m.

The suspect was then spotted by Youngstown Police who chased him to Liberty Township where the juvenile ditched the car by the railroad tracks off Logan Gate. 

Police continued the search on foot using a K-9, Sheriff's Deputies, and officers from Liberty Township.

Magistrate Baldwin with the Juvenile Justice Center says they released the 17-year-old's photo as a matter of public safety, and for his own safety.

"Our motivation in releasing this is during the course of speaking with different individuals we fear he may try to harm himself, and so we want to make sure that his mental health issues are addressed, and of course he's captured so that he is safe, and the community is safe," Magistrate Baldwin said.

Detention Director Jason Lanzo says an escape at the JJC is rare but their protocols will be reviewed.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Baldwin says she believes Britton intended to do this.  She warns the public not to approach him.

"The way you can help is to make a phone call.  Pick up the phone and call 9-1-1," Magistrate Baldwin urges the public.

Major Jeff Allen with the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department tells 21 News that the U.S. Marshal's are working with them and have gone to some of the homes where Britton is known to go and hang out.

Major Allen also says he will confer with the Mahoning County prosecutor on Thursday to determine if an additional charge can be filed against Britton.

 Allen says the 17-year-old tried to hit one of their detectives when they tried to block him in while he was driving the stolen car.

Britton was last seen wearing navy shorts and a navy t-shirt.  He has tattoos above each eyebrow, one that says "forever" and one that says "young."

 The 17-year-old stands 5'6" and weighs approximately 132 pounds, and again if you see him don't approach him, just call 911 and give the location of where you've spotted him.

Stay connected with the 21 News App for the latest on this developing story.

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