4 teens escaped from Nashville detention center because of management company mistakes, officials say

From left to right: Decorrius Wright, Morris Marsh, Brandon Caruthers and Calvin Howse

(CNN)Four teenagers were able to escape through the front door of a Nashville, Tennessee, juvenile detention center because of critical oversights by the company that managed the facility, officials said Monday.

The teens, two of whom are accused of murder, fled the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Facility Saturday after being left unsupervised, police said.
Police say the company that manages the center waited more than half an hour after the escape before notifying police the four teens -- ages 15, 16 and 17 -- ran out the detention center's front entrance.
"In 30 minutes, with a fast walk you could be two miles away," Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said. The youths have not been found as of Monday night.
    Youth Opportunity Investments, a private detention contractor which has managed the center since 2015, fired three of its employees and suspended one for three days in reaction to the escape, the company said.
    "Youth Opportunity acknowledges that several members of its security personnel made improper decisions that, when combined, led to an opportunity for the four youth to leave the facility," the company said in a statement.
    Anderson said he still has questions about what happened.
    "I don't have any indication that a crime has been committed, (or) that there was some overt act to assist in their escape," he said. "But, certainly a lot of gross negligence."
    The Nashville Police Juvenile Crime Task Force and the Youth Services Division have been working around the clock to find the teens, said Lt. Blaine Whited, who runs the Juvenile Crime Task Force.

    Police chief saw a pattern of 'nonchalant behavior'

    A staff supervisor had asked the four teenagers to clean inside the facility after the 9 p.m. usual bedtime, according to Youth Opportunity Investments' incident summary. A "disturbance" caused the supervisor to leave and the teens were left unsupervised.
    The teens entered an elevator that had been left open by a staff member, according to a statement from Davidson County Juvenile Court. They were "able to convince a staff member to make a call to Master Control and request that the elevator be sent to the basement, which is an unsecured area youth are not permitted to access."
    The teens proceeded to run out of the front door of the center at 9:44 p.m., the statement read. The center's supervisor notified the facility's director that the teens were missing at 9:57 p.m. and then drove around looking for them. The supervisor did not call police until 10:22 p.m., the statement read.
    The teens "more than likely had some assistance once they were outside" the detention center, Whited said.
    Four teens escaped the Davidson County Juvenile Detention Center on November 30, 2019.