4th teen who walked away from boys ranch arrested

September 16, 2011 5:09:31 PM PDT
The last of four teenage boys who walked away from an unlocked youth detention facility in Byron on Monday night was arrested in Alameda County on Thursday evening, Contra Costa County Chief Deputy Probation Officer Paula Hernandez said Friday.

The three other teens, two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old, were arrested at a Walmart store in Antioch on Tuesday afternoon, Contra Costa County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.

They have been booked into juvenile hall in Martinez.

The fourth boy, a 15-year-old, was still in custody of Alameda County this morning, but will be brought back to Contra Costa County to be charged, Hernandez said.

According to Hernandez, one of the boys left the Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility, also known as the Byron Boys Ranch, located at 4491 Bixler Road, at about 8:20 p.m. Monday.

The three other boys left about 20 minutes later, Hernandez said.

The facility, which is designed to rehabilitate low-level delinquent youths, is not locked or fenced, Hernandez said. It is in a remote part of unincorporated eastern Contra Costa County surrounded by fields.

Boys who are sent to the facility have generally committed nonviolent, misdemeanor crimes and are committed to the ranch as a way to keep them out of the criminal justice system and give them a chance to be rehabilitated, Hernandez said.

Hernandez said the probation department would not recommend that any of the boys return to the ranch, but the decision about where they will go next will ultimately be up to a juvenile court judge.