SOMERVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Nearly a dozen 18-year-olds are in adult jail after the most serious disturbance in years at a juvenile detention center in Fayette County.
It happened Sunday evening at the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville.
No guards were hurt and no juveniles escaped the perimeter, but those involved damaged doors, windows, and security equipment.
11 18-year-olds were arrested and charged, including seven from Memphis and one from Southaven, Mississippi. They all were arraigned Monday morning in Fayette County court.
Monday, the state’s head of children’s services came to the Somerville facility to see the damage and look into what happened.
Nichols spent Monday with an unexpected site visit, surveying the aftermath of a large disturbance, which lasted hours Sunday evening at the center on Highway 59 in Somerville.
“We are all still looking into what happened and what caused it. We do believe it started in one area and escalated from there,” Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Commissioner Jennifer Nichols said.
“We are still looking into things and looking at camera footage,” Nichols said.
Extra law enforcement was called in to restore order, as those responsible used cinder blocks to bust windows and damage doors.
When it was all over, 11 18-year-olds were arrested and booked as adults.
“We owe a huge thanks to the sheriff here in Fayette County, as well as to the Department of Safety and Corrections,” Nichols said.
An investigation is now underway to find out exactly what sparked Sunday’s trouble, find out how much it will cost to fix and see what security changes are needed.
“I guess we need to wait and see what the full investigation turns up, obviously we’ll make whatever adjustments need to be made, but as the DA said, none of those that were detained got out,” Nichols said.
All 11 18-year-olds charged as adults were given a $250,000 bond Monday morning.
They’re all scheduled to appear in court again October 3rd.