3 juveniles escape from Miami Youth Academy

1 teen apprehended, 2 others at large, police say

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Ian Margol - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Three juveniles escaped from the Miami Youth Academy on Sunday evening, Miami-Dade police said.

Staff at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice-operated detention center called police about 6 p.m. to report that three teenage boys were missing from the facility.

"They broke out a window and they escaped the facility," Detective Angel Rodriguez said, adding that the window was in a classroom.

Several residents of the apartment complexes in the area reported seeing the teens.

Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said one of the escapees, Jason Posey, 15, was apprehended, but Jonathan Jacobo, 14, and Greggory Ruiz, 16, are still at large.

Zabaleta said the teens "are known to be violent."

"It surprised me, but I talked to a couple of my neighbors and they're not really concerned too much," Michael Marion said.

Marion lives across the street from the youth center and also volunteers there, serving as a mentor for the young men.

"We sit down and we just talk to them as men," Marion said. "We try to teach them how to be men and how to respect themselves."

Marion said he doesn't know how the boys were able to escape without being seen, but he said he was shocked to find out who was involved.

Marion said he had met Jacobo before and knows Ruiz well. He said the teen was really trying to change his life and he would never have expected this.

"If he ever reached out and tried to get in touch with me, I would do everything possible to get him back and try to help turn him around and just do what is right," Marion said. 

While police said the teens involved are known to be violent, authorities do not believe the two still on the loose are armed. 

"The department is investigating the incident and contracted provider staff's adherence to policy and procedure, and should a failure be identified, staff will be held fully accountable for their actions," Florida Department of Juvenile Justice spokeswoman Molly Best said in a statement Monday.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of the escapees is asked to not engage them and to call 911.
 

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