Escaped teen still on the loose

San Francisco police continue to search for a teenager who escaped from The City’s Youth Guidance Center earlier this week while being escorted between facilities, authorities said.

On Wednesday, 16-year-old was being escorted between two buildings at Juvenile Hall near Twin Peaks when he slipped out of his handcuffs and escaped, said Bill Sifferman, chief officer of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department.

The juvenile, who police said is 5 feet 6 inches tall with black hair and brown eyes, was being escorted with other inmates when he fled, according to police. Authorities did not chase after him, Sifferman said.

“Practice is that we can’t leave the other youth unattended and pursue,” he added.

Sifferman said he could not release any information on whether the juvenile had been convicted of a crime or how long he had been detained at Juvenile Hall. He alsocould not say whether the juvenile is considered dangerous or if he is a public-safety risk because of juvenile confidentiality laws, he said.

The Juvenile Probation Department has enlisted the help of community-based organizations that may have assisted the juvenile in the past to encourage the teenager to turn himself in. The San Francisco Police Department and the county Sheriff’s Department are also involved in the investigation.

“It’s always a better practice to turn oneself in and demonstrate the willingness to accept consequences,” Sifferman said.

The Youth Guidance Center, at 375 Woodside Ave., comprises of administration buildings, courtrooms and a juvenile detention center that can hold as many as 132 youth. Sifferman said this is the first time a juvenile has escaped since he came on board in 2005.

“This was an aberration,” he said. “According to my initial investigation, I haven’t seen any evidence of negligence on [the part of] staff.

arocha@examiner.com

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