Governor to address Bridge City youth center plan after residents call for center to close

BRIDGE CITY, La. (WGNO) – Neighbors at the Bridge City Center for Youth (BCCY) are scared and fed up after the latest escape by six minors over the weekend led to one person being shot. Citizens are joining local leaders in calling on the state to shut down the facility, but it’s not yet clear what is being done to fix the problem.

Sunday morning’s escape involved six minors who escaped from the facility, five of whom were apprehended shortly afterwards. The sixth escapee, a 17-year-old, allegedly stole two vehicles and shot a man during a carjacking. He was arrested after a nine-mile chase with Louisiana State Police.

People who live near the facility are worried that this will happen to one of them and want the center to be closed permanently.

“My phone rang at 4:30 a.m. that morning and it was an emergency call saying six of them had burst. It happened at 2:30 p.m., and they called me at 4:00 p.m. , a resident of Bridge City.

Birden remembers being alerted Sunday morning to the BCCY’s latest breakout. Like many of her neighbors, she wants a solution.

“Shut it up,” Briden said.

“It seems like even with the added security there’s nothing they can do about it,” resident Terence Feazell told WGNO’s LBJ. “We have state troopers roaming the neighborhood day and night, Jefferson Parish sits here day and night and these kids are always out so it’s not the security issue because they don’t care not. They want out and there is a way out and they seem to have found it.

Feazell provided us with this video of the incident last month where the escapees passed through his yard, saying he fears that sooner or later someone will get hurt like the victim of Sunday’s carjacking, who was featured for last seen in stable condition.

VIDEO: Minors walk through neighbor’s yard after escaping Bridge City Center for Youth

“Sooner or later, something will happen. A resident will eventually come into contact with these children or an elderly person or someone who gets in the car in the morning to go to work. I’m just sick of it,” Feazell said.

After several escapes this year and a fight that injured a facility resident and staff member, the state placed additional forces in and around the facility, but Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Cheng, echoed residents’ concerns.

“This building in this neighborhood really just showed that even with the extra attention and resources, it failed,” Cheng explained.

WGNO also spoke with JP adviser Deano Bonano, who told us, “The state now has blood on its hands because we told them it was not about ‘if’s but about “when” one of these escapees hurts someone.

Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to announce a plan for the Bridge City facility on Tuesday, with a spokesperson telling WGNO in a statement that:

“We have looked at what happened over the past weekend to determine the best way forward for young people in Bridge City and also for the surrounding community. We will share an update on the action that has been taken in response to last Saturday night’s incident and a detailed plan for the future of Bridge City tomorrow (Tuesday). The Governor’s goal is to ensure the safety of youth, staff and the surrounding community.

Details on what the plan entails were unclear.

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