No place for juveniles who break the law

The Abbeville Police Department is waiting to arrest two juveniles, who alledgedly broke into the Abbeville Boys and Girls Club last week and did $10,000 worth of damage. So, what is the hold up?

There is no place to put the juveniles once they are arrested, according to Abbeville Police Chief Rick Coleman.

Coleman said when a juvenile, ages 10 to 16, is arrested, he or she is sent to a juvenile facility in the state.

It is against the law to mix a juvenile with an adult criminal, he said.

The juveniles could be sent to a facility in St. Martinville, Houma or St. James. However, with those places without available bed space, the police can not arrest the juveniles who they suspect committed the crime.

Coleman said it is aggravating that the police department’s hands are tied until a bed is available.

“We check daily,” he said.

The two juveniles will be charged for allegedly breaking into the Boys and Girls Club and ransacking the place in a 45 minute time period.

According to Abbeville Police Detective R.J. Thibodeaux, someone broke into the club, which is located at A.A. Comeaux Park, and broke windows, seven new laptop computers, along with desk top computers. The criminals also broke a foosball table, along with pool sticks, vending machines and sprayed paint throughout the art building. The person threw rocks and broke the two windows above the gym floor.

The criminals also broke into the newly created laptop room and then went cubical to cubical throwing each computer on the floor and smashing them.

Coleman said the juveniles know they are about to be arrested and are probably wondering what is taking the police so long.

The answer: no place to put them.

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