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Search for youth facility escapees closes schools

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:55 p.m. HST, Apr 04, 2014

Hawaii Pacific University's Hawaii Loa campus, Maunawili Elementary School and Olomana School were closed Friday morning as police searched for two escapees from the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility.

Kailua High School was under a perimeter lockdown with heightened security at the school's entrance, Department of Education spokeswoman Dara Young said.

Police said two 17-year-old boys escaped from the facility Thursday morning.

State Department of Human Services spokeswoman Kayla Rosenfeld said one of the escapees is facing a felony robbery charge.

Maunawili Elementary School and Olomana School went into lockdown Thursday at 11 a.m., shortly after the escape and remained in lockdown until the school day ended after 2 p.m.

The Department of Education decided to close the schools Friday morning because the escapees may still be in the area. They announced the closure on a phone and e-mail alert system and Twitter and the DOE website starting at 6:20 a.m.

"It's precautionary," said Alex Da Silva, a spokesman for the Department of Education. "It's for the safety of the kids and the staff."

Hawaii Pacific University closed classes on the windward campus until 11 a.m. The downtown campus remained open.

"Due to a situation involving Hawaii Law Enforcement surrounding the Hawaii-Loa Campus and Pali Highway area, all classes held at Hawaii Loa will be cancelled until 11am, April 4th. The Hawaii-Loa Campus will be in lockdown until 11am as well," HPU said in a notice on its website.

The school said classes resumed at 11 a.m. and extra security was brought in to patrol the campus. Because the escapees have not been caught, HPU reminded students and faculty to be alert and check for updates.

Le Jardin Academy, at 917 Kalanianaole Hwy. off Kapaa Quarry Road, was open Friday morning after getting an all clear from police, said Headmaster Lou Young.

Young said school security personnel called him around midnight to say that police reported sightings of the two juvenile escapees in several areas, including the Kapaa Quarry Road.

"So they wanted to come on campus and do a thorough search, which they did, complete with dogs and helicopter and the whole business," Young said. After searching the entire area, including the surrounding woods, police cleared the school to open Friday.

Young said the school hired extra security personnel Friday "just in case."

There have been reports of other sightings, including Castle Junction, he said, so the school remained "cautiously alert."

The Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility is located near the schools on Kalanianaole Highway in Kailua. It houses juveniles who have been convicted or are awaiting trial for serious crimes.

Maunawili has an enrollment of about 384 students in kindergarten to sixth grade and 60 staff and faculty.

Olomana School is an alternative school for juveniles at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility and other youth offenders and students who have difficulties in mainstream schools. It has an enrollment of about 91 students in intermediate and high school grade levels and 88 faculty and staff.


Star-Advertiser assistant webmaster Craig Gima, reporters June Watanabe and Gregg K. Kakesako and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

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paniolo wrote:
If they escaped Thursday morning around 9:45, how come no word to the public until Friday? There were no notification on media sites all day yesterday, and nothing on 10 o'clock news last night. Officials wait until the next day to say something. These kids are gone already. People probably saw them, but didn't think anything about it. Too slow...
on April 4,2014 | 07:52AM
serious wrote:
The prison officials were too busy brushing up on their telephone techniques so they can call in sick for THE FINAL FOUR on Saturday!!!
on April 4,2014 | 09:42AM
HOSSANA wrote:
The administrators of our correctional facility esp. at the youth facility are just plain stupid and lack any common sense whatsoever. By delaying the announcement of the escape, they jeopardize the residents living in or around that area. These state officials are just plain stupid........nothing more and nothing less.
on April 4,2014 | 09:04PM
cojef wrote:
Given an opportunity to straightening out their future, these 2 opted on a career path of crime. Sad.
on April 4,2014 | 07:59AM
Papakolea wrote:
Don't worry because they're good boys. Always smiling and love to make others smile. Always the life of the party. They'd give you the shirt off their backs. Did I miss anything?
on April 4,2014 | 08:21AM
Keolu wrote:
Yes, how did they escape?
on April 4,2014 | 09:27AM
loio wrote:
THAT's the ques, cuz.
on April 4,2014 | 10:49AM
IAmSane wrote:
That's such an original comment. I'm so impressed by your wit, I started clapping my hands after I read your comment. I love you.
on April 4,2014 | 05:29PM
RichardCory wrote:
I got pregnant just by reading that comment.
on April 4,2014 | 08:57PM
jmarie wrote:
Hope probation that should work.
on April 4,2014 | 08:52AM
false wrote:
Now that the answer Hope probation. Yeah, just like those that they feature in the Mid Week who go through Hope. RIght on!
on April 4,2014 | 11:35AM
glenn57377 wrote:
You are so right. Every week, both of the perps are Hope types. That must REALLY be an effective program.
on April 4,2014 | 02:25PM
rytsuru wrote:
Exactly how dangerous are these two to cause such a manhunt and lockdown...that information may be of interest to us readers!
on April 4,2014 | 09:17AM
kiragirl wrote:
Yes, their names and description would help too.
on April 4,2014 | 10:23AM
HOSSANA wrote:
Why do we have such stupid laws that prevent the publication of the names of juveniles who commit crimes. Such a stupid and asinine law which was legislated to protect the suspects because they are still juveniles. In this case, it might really help to know who those two idiot escapees are so that certain members of the public might know who they are and might be able to assist with info on the whereabouts where these escapees might be......
on April 4,2014 | 09:28AM
HOSSANA wrote:
Why are the names of these juvenile escapees not published? Just because they are juveniles it is supposed to protect the young is so absurb and ludicrous.
on April 4,2014 | 09:29AM
monarch1 wrote:
Hey, maybe Rich Miano can get them jobs as stevedores!
on April 4,2014 | 10:16AM
iwanaknow wrote:
Maybe the two boys can run away to the Carnival?
on April 4,2014 | 02:13PM
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