SABILLASVILLE, Md. - Eight people have been charged following a riot at a Maryland juvenile detention facility that left eight staff members hurt.
AFSCME Maryland, the union that represents the employees at the juvenile facility, said one employee ended up with a broken jaw and another suffered a fractured face after a group of boys became violent Sunday morning at the Victor Cullen Center in Frederick County, a facility that houses the most troubled juvenile offenders in Maryland.
"What we are seeing is just absolutely deplorable working conditions in terms of health and safety," said AFSCME Maryland president Patrick Moran. "They are out of control. We are seeing employees have to work mandatory double shifts on a consistent basis. In some cases, people are working up to 24 hours. That just puts everyone at risk."
Maryland State Police said the riot started when two boys got in a fight and then other boys started fighting with staff. It ended with a group of eight juveniles assaulting staffers, stealing their keys and radios and leaving their housing unit. The boys also kicked out windows and a door during the riot. None of the boys escaped the facility, which is maximum security.
Police said three of the eight injured staff members had to be hospitalized.
Three of the suspects are being charged as adults. Diego Glay, 19, Daniel Ennos, 17, and Bernard Moore, 17, are all charged with first-degree escape, second-degree assault, riot, malicious destruction of property under $1,000 and theft under $100. Ennos and Moore are also charged with first-degree assault.
AFSCME Maryland is blaming Gov. Larry Hogan for not doing more to increase staff and improve conditions at the Victor Cullen Center.
A recent state report shows the population of the center has stayed below 35 in the last three years. Yet there have been more than 230 assaults – mainly youth on youth. However, assaults on staff members are not uncommon.
“The results and the consequences are dire and people are getting their jaws broken as we saw yesterday," said Moran. “We had another person with a fractured skull or face yesterday. These are situations that can be avoided and should be avoided.”
"The union is just wrong. They have been saying those kind of things for a long time. This was fully staffed," Gov. Hogan said as he was interrupted by Moran at a news conference on Monday. "We have already heard from you. There are no shortages. It was fully staffed. This is not your press conference."
"There was no shortage. It was completely, fully staffed," said Hogan. "These are the most violent offenders we have in our juvenile justice system. It was a terrible incident."
The governor's office said assaults at the center have dropped since 2014, funding has increased and there is more than one employee for every juvenile at the center. Currently, there are 53 staff members.
The eight boys charged in Sunday’s incident have all been transferred to other secure facilities.