SHENANGO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A teenager from Pottsville was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly attacked three employees at a development center in Lawrence County.

According to State Police, the incident happened at the Youth Developmental Center in Shenango Township Monday night.

Robert Pruden, 19, allegedly lunged at one of the employees with a utility knife and cut him three times on the neck and left arm.

State Police said the incident happened late Monday night in one of the cottages at the site. Pruden allegedly refused to follow instructions from staffers to retire for the night.

He is now being held in the Lawrence County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Bob Zarilla, President of AFSCME Local 2353, represents more than 100 YDC workers. He told KDKA TV’s Ralph Iannotti that the incident underscores a serious problem at the juvenile home.

“We’ve seen an increase in staff assault, because of policies that YDC has implemented. We are not being allowed to hold kids accountable for their actions. We’ve had staff being spit on, bit, punched, and kicked,” Zarilla said.

The facility houses delinquent young people up to 21-years-old, that are viewed by the courts as juveniles.

Pruden is now being charged as an adult.


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