Echo Glen escapee makes first appearance before a judge

One of the five teens who escaped from the Echo Glen Children's Center earlier this week appeared in front of a judge for the first time. 

Three of those teens are in custody and King County Prosecutors are seeking to charge the teens with six different crimes.

One of the teen’s mothers virtually asked the judge to release her son. Her request was denied because of the way the teens escaped.

"This was frankly a very brazen and extremely violent series of acts," King County Juvenile Court Judge Nelson Lee said.

Officials say the five teen boys allegedly assaulted Echo Glen staff, stole a car and escaped the detention facility. 

"It put a number of staff at Echo Glen through extreme fear and also significant injury," Lee said.

Two other captured teens waived their rights, having their attorneys represent them.

"The state is asking for the probable cause of six separate charges today," Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Wong told Judge Lee in court.

Wong is looking to charge the teens with escape, kidnapping in the first degree, unlawful Imprisonment, theft of a vehicle and two counts of robbery in the first degree.

"There was an individual, who is as of yet unidentified, nonetheless used a knife in the commission of these events and because of that, I do find there is probable cause for kidnapping in the first degree," Lee said.

"These young men have certainly made poor choices again, poor choices to put them there and poor choices that took them away," King County Sheriff Office spokesperson, Sgt. Tim Meyer said.

Prosecutors asked for a no-contact order among the teens to prevent this situation from repeating itself. Lee granted their request for the safety of Echo Glen's staff and the community.

Echo Glen escape: 3 of 5 teens taken back into custody

Three of five teen boys who escaped Echo Glen Children's Center are now in custody, the King County Sheriff's Office has confirmed.

"We hope that this is a wakeup call for them and we get them back on the right path," Meyer said.

The State Department of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) responded to the escape, saying they're working with law enforcement.  

"A Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), comprised of people from outside facility management, assembled on January 26, the day of escape, and is on-site at Echo Glen to address risk, determine root causes, and continue reviewing the situation. DCYF expects their report early next week and will take action based on their recommendations," DCYF's statement to FOX 13 read, in part.

We've since spoken with an employee at Echo Glen, who have asked to remain anonymous from fear of retaliation. She said has been assaulted three times since she started working at the facility in November of 2020.

She's now sounding the alarm calling on state resources to help them.

RELATED: State-commissioned survey uncovers ongoing safety, staffing problems at youth detention centers

"I’ve just been trying to give the facility or the state a chance to give us more staff and to provide safety for us because I feel like the consequences for when kids assault staff is very low and that’s why it keeps happening," the Echo Glen Employee said.

Right now, the manhunt continues for the two teens who have not yet been identified.

"They're not going to escape our computers and there are extraditable warrants from all 50 states currently in the system," Meyer said. "So if they try and flee to a neighboring state or try and cross the border, well, that's going to land them back at our care which is just what we want."

The teens escaped in a gray 2018 Ford Fusion they stole from the detention center and is currently it is still missing.

As far as the three teens in custody, they will remain detained until charging decisions are made which could be as soon as next week. 

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