PRICHARD, Ala. (WALA) - The brief escape of a 16-year-old from the Strickland Youth Center raises some questions about police safety procedures.
FOX10 News talked to Prichard Police Chief Jimmie Gardner about the incident.
Fortunately, no one was injured when Anthony Greene managed to escape from the Prichard police officer who was taking him to the Strickland Youth Center Tuesday.
Chief Gardner said the 16-year-old got the drop on his officer.
"I understand that the juvenile shoved him and was able to pull the gate back, locking him on the opposite side of the gate, which is a controlled gate. And, it had taken a while before he was able to exit that gate," Gardner said.
A secure sally-port is intended to prevent that kind of thing from happening.
When a patrol car is pulled inside, the gate automatically closes and locks. But, Gardner said the officer didn't have that option.
"There were two vehicles in the sally-port at the time is the reason that he was outside of the sally port," Gardner said.
Gardner said it wasn't improper for the officer to walk the teen through a different entrance.
"But even in doing that, we just have to be more cautious about how we handle anyone under arrest, juvenile or adult for that matter," he said.
The recent murder of Mobile Police Officer Steven Green shows the potential danger officers face when transporting prisoners.
"The (Officer) Green case was just that, involving a young person. We have to be on cautions at all times. And of course, even though he's handcuffed, you have him under your control. We just have to continue to be cautious about how we do things," Gardner said.
There was no tragedy Tuesday, but Gardner said there are lessons that can be learned from the incident.
"We do want to review those things and talk about what went wrong; what we did right; and what we may need to do different. So,that at the end of the day, not only are we're safe, the public is safe, and the individual is safe as well," he said.
Anthony Greene is still in Strickland, where he faces juvenile charges.
Gardner said Greene will soon be sent to Metro Jail where he will be charged as an adult for assault.
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