RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State Police said Tuesday that an employee of the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center helped two men, currently still at large, escape Monday.
Destiny L. Harris, 23, of Chesterfield County was arrested Tuesday morning and is charged with helping two men leave Bon Air after they allegedly overpowered security staff and escaped through a hole that had been cut in a security fence, according to an earlier release from the DJJ.
“This is the first escape we’ve had at Bon Air in over 20 years,” said DJJ Director Valerie Boykin.
The DJJ said the residents are 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.
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.
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.
“We are very concerned about how this happened and will fully investigate the circumstances and ensure that appropriate action is taken,” Boykin said. “We strive to provide for a safe, secure and therapeutic environment for the youth committed to our care. We ask that anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of these individuals contact local authorities or the Virginia State Police.”
Troopers revealed on Tuesday that Harris allegedly aided the pair in escaping and has been charged with two counts by police.
Anyone with information related to either male is encouraged to call 911 or the Virginia State Police at (804) 553-3445.
A woman who lives just minutes away from the facility told 8News on the day of the incident that she worries about what the escapees will do next?
“That was smart. It was smart, it was vicious,” said a woman named Lisa about how pair escaped from custody. “So if they have that type of mentality, what will they do to someone in the street?”
Lisa, who declined to give her last name to 8News, says while she doesn’t believe the escapees are still in the surrounding area, “no matter where they are, if people don’t know what they’re dealing with then they don’t know what to be careful against.”
“They (the escapees) probably look at life a little bit differently and they look at it as they don’t have anything to lose, and when someone looks at life like that, they’re likely to do anything,” Lisa added.
Kerry Dean also lives in the neighboring community and said the news of two escapees on the run is concerning.
“I live nearby in the area and I would expect some speedy response from law enforcement,” Dean said.
Troopers said Tuesday that they do not believe the pair are still in Virginia.