Second employee arrested in Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center escape plot

Crime

Reward offered for information leading to arrests

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police have arrested another employee of the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center in connection to the two residents who escaped on Monday. The residents are still on the run.

Darren Briggs, a 42-year-old from Lawrenceville, has been arrested on one felony count of providing a cell phone to a prisoner. He was taken into custody by VSP Wednesday morning and is being held at the Chesterfield County Jail.

Jabar A. Taylor, 20, convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated malicious assault, and Rashad E. Williams, 18, convicted of malicious wounding and robbery escaped from Bon Air after they allegedly overpowered security staff and escaped through a hole that had been cut in a security fence, the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice said in a release.

The DJJ said the men used a cord to choke a security staff member, who briefly lost consciousness. They then took the staff member’s keys and escaped through a hole that had been cut in the security fence.

The two men then went in a car that the department said appeared to have been waiting for them.

Taylor is from Spotsylvania County, and is described as 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 138 pounds. Williams is from Washington, D.C., and is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 140 pounds.

Both residents were going to be transferred to an adult Department of Corrections facility after their 21st birthdays.

On Tuesday, Virginia State Police charged Destiny L. Harris with helping two men leave Bon Air. In a statement, DJJ Director Valerie Boykin told 8News that both Harris and Briggs have been fired and that a “full security analysis” is being launched at the campus.

The arrest of two Bon Air staff for their alleged involvement in the recent escape of two residents is deeply disturbing.  We hope that this leads to the swift apprehension of the fugitives.  Bon Air is staffed by a group of dedicated professionals committed to the rehabilitation of the youth in our care. The two individuals charged with acts that compromised the well-being of other employees as well as the public at large are not representative of the Bon Air team and are no longer employed by the Department of Juvenile Justice. The goal of the ongoing criminal and internal investigation is to get to the bottom of this incident and hold all who have been involved accountable for any inappropriate actions.  

In addition, I am launching a full security analysis of the campus. The DJJ Residential Services Management Team is conducting an internal analysis and I will be bringing in an external team to conduct a complete security analysis to augment our findings.  Bon Air is an old campus and DJJ had been working for years to replace it with a more modern facility with state-of-the-art treatment and security design components.  While those efforts have been ongoing, we are committed to determine if security enhancements are needed.  We have not had an escape in over 20 years and we want to continue to be a good neighbor as we fulfill our role in public safety. 

DJJ Director Valerie Boykin

This is the first escape at Bon Air in over 20 years. On Wednesday, the U.S. Marshals Service’s Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force asked for the public’s assistance in finding Williams and Taylor, offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to each of their arrests.

“The danger posed by these fugitives and their escape should not be taken lightly by anyone,” said Nick E. Proffitt, U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The fugitives went to great lengths to affect the escape, and they pose a significant threat to any law enforcement officer or member of the public who may encounter them.”

According to the U.S. Marshals Service, the fugitives have ties to Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina.

Anyone with information related to either male is encouraged to call 911 or the Virginia State Police at (804) 553-3445. People can also call 1-877-926-8332 or email usms.wanted@usdoj.gov.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News for updates.

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