EMLENTON, Pa. (AP) – Five youths will be charged with inciting a riot at a secure juvenile treatment center in western Pennsylvania that involved about 40 youths and injured at least eight staff members, state police said Thursday.
The melee at Western PA Child Care involved two rival groups of prisoners, including several gang members from Philadelphia, Cpl. Tim Morando told the Butler Eagle.READ MORE: PTL Links: Oct. 26, 2021
“A lot of them are gangbangers,” Morando told the newspaper. An interior door that was not locked apparently let the factions of 15 to 20 members each get at each other, he said.
The center is in Allegheny Township, Butler County, about 50 miles north of Pittsburgh and is owned by Mid-Atlantic Youth Services center. A woman who answered the phone Thursday said, “No comment” and hung up.
Troopers were continuing to review surveillance video, and say it will take a week or two before they will file charges of aggravated assault and inciting a riot.READ MORE: Ambridge Area Middle School Moving To Remote Learning Amid Rise In COVID-19 Cases
Staff members who tried to break up the melee were overwhelmed after it broke out about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria.
“In the video, you can see the kids punching and kicking,” Morando said. “One student actually grabbed a chair and began attacking a staff member who was already on the ground.”
At least eight staff members were taken to Clarion Hospital where they were treated for unspecified injuries, police said. Two had to be moved on backboards.
The center houses males between 16 and 21 years old and counsels those with drug, alcohol and criminal problems. The residents are placed there by juvenile courts across the state.MORE NEWS: Police: Suspect Caught On Camera Entering Unlocked Vehicle In Bethel Park