OYDC escapees caught in Orlando

OKEECHOBEE — Six juvenile escapees from the Okeechobee Youth Development Center (OYDC) were apprehended Sunday in Orlando after two of them tried to steal a car from an auction center there.

A report by Deputy Kristin Gray, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), stated the teens apparently fled their local confines around 11:45 p.m. Saturday, May 14. She said they made their getaway by breaking out a bathroom window then placing a sheet over some fencing around the facility at 7200 U.S. 441 N.

Left to right are: Michael Cino, 15, Jorge Elver, 15, Tanareous Lynn, 15, Gerald Phelps, 16,  Jonathan Rodriguez, 15 and Brandon Wing, 14.

Left to right are: Michael Cino, 15, Jorge Elver, 15, Tanareous Lynn, 15, Gerald Phelps, 16, Jonathan Rodriguez, 15 and Brandon Wing, 14.

After going a couple of miles, the escapees allegedly stole a 2004 gray Dodge pickup truck from a local business.

Arrested around 4:30 a.m. Sunday in Orlando were: Tanareous Lynn, 15, Brandon Wing, 14, Gerald Phelps, 16, Jonathan Rodriguez, 15, Jorge Elver, 15, and Michael Cino, 15.

Not long after their reported escape, local warrants charging each teen with escape and grand theft-auto were issued.

Deputy Gray’s report stated the teens were last accounted for Saturday at an 11:35 p.m. bed check.

A perimeter was quickly set up and OCSO Deputy Matt Crawford and his K-9 Mick were called to the scene. Mick was turned loose in an area where the teens were seen running by other juveniles at the facility, but his search was unsuccessful.

During a search of the area, Deputy Gray stated two pieces of paper were found outside the facility’s fence that belonged to Wing.

One piece was a “to do list” and indicated that Wing was going to get a car. He was then going to Fort Myers where he would meet up with Phelps and Lynn, and the trio would then leave for Atlanta.

The second piece of paper detailed how Wing was going to get a car then meet up with Phelps. The duo would then leave for Las Vegas, Nev.

It’s not clear when or how those plans changed but Wing and Lynn were soon arrested in Orlando.

A report by Deputy Robert T. Bell, of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, stated he was notified about 4:32 a.m. by security at Manheim Auto Auction, 9800 Bachman Road, that some individuals had gained access to the property. That auction, continued Deputy Bell, is about 5 miles in circumference and is primarily a large parking lot from which automobiles are sold.

“As I drove northbound through the property in my unmarked agency vehicle, I observed several vehicles driving around inside the property. Security personnel was following a 2012 black Audi sedan,” stated Deputy Bell’s report.

The deputy then activated his blue lights and siren and began to follow the Audi across the property.

“I observed the driver of the black Audi sedan intentionally drive into the north security gate in an attempt to flee the property,” Deputy Bell continued.

At that point a white male reportedly (Wing) got out from behind the wheel and ran through a hole in the fence. He was taken into custody a short distance away.

Lynn was arrested shortly after he supposedly exited the passenger side of the vehicle.

The stolen pickup was recovered at a Waffle House restaurant at 8903 S. Orange Blossom Trail.

A perimeter was then established and a search began for the remaining four escapees, who were found a short time later asleep under the overpass on south Orange Blossom Trail.

All of the teens were arrested on an Okeechobee County warrant charging them with escape. They were then booked into a juvenile holding facility.

The six teens are also charged in Orange County with burglary of a dwelling and grand theft.

It was not clear as of newspaper deadline when they would be returned to Okeechobee.

Reports indicate Wing is from Orange City; Lynn and Cino are both from Orlando; Rodriguez is from Apopka; Elver is from Immokalee; and, Phelps is from Lehigh Acres.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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