Be on the lookout for this kid we can’t show you.

From an article I originally read in the PG, but can’t find it on their site anymore:

LATROBE, Pa. — Police are searching for a 16-year-old boy who escaped from Adelphoi House, a juvenile detention center in Westmoreland County.

Police say the teenager was last seen in the area of Main Street in Latrobe. They say he is a 6-foot-2-inch black male with a muscular frame and weighs about 220 pounds. Police say he was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt, black jeans and a white baseball-style cap.

His name has not been released because he is a minor.

Okay, so a 6’2″ 220-pound teenager escaped from detention and because he’s at least 366 days removed from his 18th birthday, they will not tell us his name or show us his picture.

Can I ask?  Don’t you think that once you put a minor in the juvy system and then that minor, a huge, hulking, likely angry and possibly dangerous teenager escapes, shouldn’t all bets about privacy be off?

Shouldn’t they show me his picture so that just in case I answer the door and there stands this kid saying, “Ma’am?  My car broke down a ways down the street. Can I borrow your phone to call my mom for help?”  I’ll know whether to say, “Sure, kiddo.  Have a seat and I’ll get you the phone.  Ignore the evil terriers growling at you.  They eat their own poop,” or to say, “AUGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Just a thought I had.





22 Comments

  1. Renatta
    May 20, 2008 11:56 am

    I read that on their site yesterday and had the EXACT same thoughts…



  2. NY Luvs Pitts
    May 20, 2008 12:02 pm

    They should show his picture and give his name. He could hitched a ride and be on his way to NY by now. The public should know. Do they realize how many 6’2″, black teens wearing a hoodie, jeans and baseball cap there are on the streets?



  3. anonymous
    May 20, 2008 12:11 pm

    um, yeah, i don’t think there’s call for alarm. the article didn’t say why he was in the detention center & it didn’t say that he was “hulking, likely angry and possibly dangerous.” that’s something you, PG, put on him.



  4. julia
    May 20, 2008 12:16 pm

    Not only should his name and picture be released, but it would also be helpful to know why he was locked up. I assume it was something serious if they are posting it in the paper to find him. There is a big difference between someone in juvi. that shop lifted and one that is there for assault or something more serious.



  5. pittgirl
    May 20, 2008 12:19 pm

    I agree Julia, although, If I’m a shop owner and this kid was in for stealing, I’d like to know what he looks like just in case he came in.

    Besides, there is just no logic for the police telling us to be on the lookout for someone that they will not tell us what he looks like.

    No sense.



  6. captain dummy
    May 20, 2008 12:21 pm

    f.y.i.., he is the only 6-foot-2-inch, 220 pound black male with a muscular frame in the Latrobe area! If that helps any… haha



  7. JP
    May 20, 2008 12:24 pm

    Sux maybe in this case, but you remove that law and other minors are going to suffer the consequences of having their names released to the media. Article does not ssay anything about him being a threat to the public, so who cares?



  8. Pittsburgh Tom (in NJ)
    May 20, 2008 12:53 pm

    Good thing this didn’t happen while Steelers training camp was in session at St. Vincent’s. 6-foot-2-inch, 220 pound black male with a muscular frame is probably a approximate description of at least a few Steelers.

    Seriously though, I’m 6’2″ tall and a little over 220 and I doubt anyone who knows me would consider me huge or hulking. Don’t let your imagination get away with you. If there were real danger, I think they’d find a way to get around the law and release a better description, if not a picture.



  9. Gunn Lino
    May 20, 2008 1:19 pm

    #3., ANONYMOUS……….Not to start a to-do & all, but having had a family member who was the victim of a home invasion ( in another state ) One might consider the possible threat to public safety when a person escapes a custody facility. With the description given I have serious doubts this person was in lock up as a neglected child.
    That said ,if a family member of yours opened the door to a knock or was stopped in a parking lot by someone “asking for directions”, and the bad guy was a bad guy and took advantage of your family member, who might otherwise have know of danger, I thing your attitude would be different.
    Peace Bro.



  10. anonymous
    May 20, 2008 1:43 pm

    Well, Gunn, having had many friends & family members become victims of racism & other -isms, one might consider that just being a young, black male who stands 6’2 doesn’t automatically make him dangerous or angry.



  11. PittGirl
    May 20, 2008 1:58 pm

    Can I say honestly that I didn’t even notice that the article pointed out that the kid was black until you pointed it out? My writing this post had zero% to do with race, so I’m not sure why suddenly this is a race issue.



  12. unsatisfied
    May 20, 2008 2:28 pm

    c’mon, PG — race is ALWAYS an issue. (insert eye roll here)



  13. Jennifer
    May 20, 2008 2:40 pm

    Several thoughts:

    1. He is definately angry, though that was an assumption of Pittgirl’s its a good one. How do I know this? He is 16. And male. They are all angry most of the time. I have one living in my house. Trust me. And this one just escaped from juvy, so while that is really exciting, any attempt to bring him back or thwart his escape will DEFINITELY make him angry!

    2. As someone who HAS been a victim of a crime, home invasion and attempted rape, I did indeed wish to cut off the balls and violate every single civil right of the offender if he were to be caught. But that is exactly why we have laws written according to logic and human rights, not according our basest instincts.

    3. While you didn’t see this as a race thing, you should understand that black teenage boys/men are seen by a startlingly large portion of the population as criminals. While this one happens to be, for all the kids who aren’t, the fact that people–including policemen–see them as likely criminals is tiring at best, deadly at worst (see Sean Bell). I don’t even know what it has to do with your post, but it came up, and I’m guessing that’s why.



  14. Kelli
    May 20, 2008 2:40 pm

    Gunn Lino – what in the description makes it clear that he wasn’t in Adelphoi for being abused or neglected.

    Nothing that I read lead to any conclusion about why he was in Adelphoi.

    Adelphoi does house teenagers ajudicated deliquent. It also houses teenagers ajudicated dependent.

    Because he is a large teenager, he can’t be abused? I call bull on that one.

    We have no idea why this young man was in Adelphoi. Whether he was delinquent or dependent, the police would still have an interest in finding him.

    I really hate the idea that some folks would automatically jump to the conclusion that he is a criminal, and a violent criminal at that, because he is a big guy who has to live in a group home. Some of the sadest things I have ever seen were the lives of abused teenagers placed in group homes.



  15. Kelli
    May 20, 2008 3:02 pm

    I wish we could edit.

    I knew “ajudicated” just wasn’t looking right, but it didn’t dawn on me the problem was my own spelling. Adjudicated, Kels, adjudicated.



  16. JP
    May 20, 2008 3:03 pm

    Kelli, it might have something to do with the fact that people like Jennifer see all black kids as likely criminals. What a bunch of ractionary tools.



  17. Jennifer
    May 20, 2008 3:14 pm

    Dude, I DID NOT say I see all black kids as likely criminals. Go back and read it. I said there are people out there who DO. I don’t. Most of the criminals I know, actually all of them come to think of it, are white. And there are actually plenty of people who see all TEENAGERS as likely criminals, not just black ones. My point was in reference to Pittgirl wondering how the whole race thing started and I was explaining that when you are in a population that people automatically see as likely criminals it gets tiring and you begin to assume that is everyone’s default position.



  18. Sandy
    May 20, 2008 3:37 pm

    If we start making exceptions to the privacy rule protecting people under 18, we run into judgment call issues. 6’2″, 220lbs, escaped from a group home? What about 6’1″, 180lbs, didn’t show up at school one day? Should we reveal his identity then? What if he were 14? 12? What if it were a girl?



  19. Mitch Cumstein
    May 20, 2008 4:19 pm

    JPeasy,

    Sure, us tools is ractionary. What are we supposed to be when the federal Bureau of Prisons tells us that one in nine black men ages 20 to 34 is behind bars? That doesn’t include those on parole/probation or otherwise involved in the legal system at the moment.

    Not all are criminals, but enough that in the back of your mind, you get a little nervous if you’re driving through Wilkinsburg. You might even turn down your Tupac and roll up the window.

    But all this is pointless as PG pointed out she didn’t mention race and it hadn’t entered her mind. The section of the article she included says the teen was wearing black jeans. That’s the only mention of color. It was the second or third poster that brought race into it.



  20. Still A Fan
    May 20, 2008 5:16 pm

    is that the unknown comic from the gong show, among other things?



  21. Katie
    May 20, 2008 10:40 pm

    I know someone who used to work at Adelphoi and from what I understood from the job, even if identified as a juvenile detention center, it was more of like a rehabilitation center for the teens to teach them skills and help them through their problems. (I may be wrong, I’ll admit to that. But if not….) Just because someone was in there, I don’t think you can automatically say that they’re dangerous. There can be other issues involved with their placement there.

    And I don’t know how many of you out there are working journalists or have taken journalism classes in college to know this, but you do NOT cross privacy laws. I know they can suck but if there was one thing I remember from my classes, it’s that you don’t cross those privacy laws. All names of people under 18 are supposed to be kept private, no matter what. Same thing is supposed to go for people who were victims of certain assaults. All of my teachers knew examples of reporters who got in loads of trouble for trying to cross those laws. Even if the paper wanted to print a name or picture to help the public find this kid, they really legally can’t and they can get in trouble for it.



  22. Zsa
    May 21, 2008 9:37 am

    Re Adelphoi, it was wrong of the paper to describe it as a “juvenile detention center.” A friend of mine works there, they are one of my firm’s clients and what Katie and Kelli said are pretty much spot on. If they don’t want to do their research on what the place actually does, they need to just give the name of the establishment and not sensationalize it.