Teen prisoner hops train, escapes during transfer
Handcuffed, shackled 16-year-old ‘boogied through a hole in the fence.’
A 16-year-old state offender being transported to a maximumsecurity youth lockup near Waco escaped Thursday in San Antonio by hopping a train, even though he was handcuffed and shackled at his ankles.
Authorities said the youth, who was serving a sentence for a robbery in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, was being transported from the Evins Regional Juvenile Center in Edinburg to the McLennan County State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Mart when he fled guards about 1 p.m. just off Interstate 35 near Splashtown in northeastern San Antonio.
A search for the teen, who is from San Antonio, continued late in the afternoon, but police said they had no further sightings of him.
Jim Hurley, a spokesman for the youth corrections agency, said initial information from the scene indicated the youth told guards he was sick, and they stopped to let him out of a van so he could throw up by a fence.
Instead, the 5-foot-2, 120-pound teenager “boogied through a hole in the fence. ... A work train was going by slowly, and he jumped on the train,” Hurley said.
The guards were unable to crawl through the hole in the fence to apprehend the youth and immediately called in San Antonio police.
At the time of the escape, Hurley said the youth was shackled with ankle chains and his hands were handcuffed to a chain around his midsection.
Investigators said they were unsure how he could have made such a fast escape considering he was in chains and handcuffs.
Authorities stopped the train a short distance away, Hurley said, but there was no trace of the teen.
A cadre of local police, Texas Highway Patrol troopers and a tracking dog from the adult prison system were searching a wide area in the vicinity, authorities said.