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Fights lead to 9 juvenile arrests at Logan Co. group home, as police responses increase

Published: Thursday, January 05, 2017 @ 2:58 AM

 Adriel group home campus in West Liberty, Logan County. KATHERINE COLLINS / STAFF
 Adriel group home campus in West Liberty, Logan County. KATHERINE COLLINS / STAFF

Nine juveniles were arrested and charged after multiple altercations broke out at the Adriel group home in West Liberty on Wednesday, the latest in a string of police responses to the campus since the first of the year. 

Around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, police and deputies responded to the campus at 414 North Detroit Street after receiving a report of a large fight, West Liberty Police Chief Shane Oelker said in a media release. 

Eight juveniles were arrested and charged in the initial incident for criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, after an investigation found they were fighting and caused damage in the group home. A ninth juvenile was later arrested after they were involved in a separate altercation in another part of the campus where more property was damaged. 

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The fight on Wednesday comes just days after two teenage girls from the Dayton area stole a vehicle from an Adriel employee, and led multiple law enforcement agencies in a high-speed pursuit. On Thursday, the two remain on the lam, and could be in the Dayton area. 

Six other juveniles from Adriel were arrested over the past weekend for various, but separate offenses that were not specified in the media release. 

Oelker said the incidents, while all not directly related, have involved the same group of juveniles. 

“We do not know why there has been a sudden increase in the number of calls that we have received,” Oelker said in an emailed response. “I am hoping to sit down with the CEO in the upcoming days to determine if there have been policy or staffing changes that may be effecting the behavior. “ 

Oelker added police have been told the behavior is due to the stress from the holidays, and could also be connected to an increase in the population of juveniles at the campus. Despite the uptick in responses, the group home has not reached out for extra assistance from the West Liberty Police Department. 

“We have always done routine patrols on each shift around the school and campus area, but we will be increasing our presence in addition to the routine patrols during the evening and overnight shifts as feasible,” Oelker said. “[Adriel officials] have not reached out to us as a result of these incidents to help provide advice or guidance.” 

Oelker said he sits on the advisory board for Adriel, but the board only meets quarterly, and has not met since the increased calls for police service. 

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