Project Adventure runaways captured
Teens taken in after three chases
After three chases by both the Newton County Sheriff’s Office and the Covington Police Department, two Project Adventure runaways were apprehended Thursday morning.
A 16-year-old black male and a 17-year-old white female reportedly fled the group home Wednesday. Both juveniles were spotted at approximately 11 p.m. that night in a nearby subdivision. Deputies pursued the pair on foot, but were only able to detain the female.
The male was spotted Thursday morning on U.S. Highway 278 and ran as soon as he saw the patrol car, said NCSO Lt. Bill Watterson. The juvenile was again chased on foot, but was able to elude the deputies for the second time.
Later that morning, the CPD located the suspect near the old Wal-Mart and were able to apprehend him without incident.
The suspect is from DeKalb County and Watterson said there was a fear he would try to catch a ride back home. They had hoped the male would willingly return to Project Adventure, but that was not the case. Watterson said the NCSO has to chase down runaways from group homes a couple of times a month.
“ It really does take a lot of man power for us,” Watterson said.
Records show there have been more than 70 calls made to the NCSO from 14 group homes in the county in the last six months.
At least 13 of these calls have been about Project Adventure. Group homes serve as an alternative to juvenile detention.
Both runaways have been charged with an obstruction of an officer.
Watterson said no charges have been filed against the female by the Department of Juvenile Justice. The DJJ was responsible for her placement at Project Adventure.