Teen Escapees Arrested In Hospital - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Teen Escapees Arrested In Hospital

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two 16-year-olds from the Nashville Transition Center who escaped after stealing a state van are back in custody.

The teenagers were arrested at Baptist Hospital. They escaped Saturday evening after stealing a Tennessee Department of Children's Services van.

Three teenagers were being transported when the van was involved in an accident Saturday night on Dickerson Pike. One of the teens jumped into the driver's seat after the driver got out of the van. The teenager sped off.

The van was recovered Sunday.

One turned himself in Saturday night, but police searched for two others for more than 24 hours.

Someone at the hospital recognized the teens and turned them in. 

Police captured Melvin Dismukes and Dezzmond Harris at the hospital.

They told police they needed to be treated for injuries they received in an auto accident.

They escaped after a DCS van was hit by another car in East Nashville. The next morning, police found the van six miles away on Straightway Avenue also in East Nashville.

A DCS spokesman said none of the teens was shackled because they were being held in the Nashville Transition Center, a type of a halfway house for juveniles.

"Not to comment on their policies or their manner of restraining the children during transport.  Obviously it wasn't appropriate and that one of them managed to get free and get into the driver's seat," said Capt. Chris Taylor.

Police consider Dismukes and Harris violent offenders. Dismukes was in DCS custody for attempted homicide and Harris aggravated assault.

DCS said the 16-year-olds have been at the transition center since October.

Teen offenders are typically moved there after serving time in a juvenile detention center like Woodland Hills.

"We just felt it was in the public's best interest the teenagers - all three 16 driving in a stolen van and had been in custody - we just thought it was a good idea and best for the public safety to have them identified to help take them back into custody," said Metro police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford.

DCS is conducting an internal investigation. DCS officials said it does not appear that the van driver did anything wrong, and they don't think the accident had anything to do with the escape.

The teens are at the Juvenile Justice Center, charged with escape and stealing the van.

They are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon.

DCS is still searching for a 17-year-old who escaped from a van earlier this month. Rashad Rhodes got away when a Woodland Hills guard stopped at a Burger King in Lebanon to get something to eat. Rhodes jumped into a waiting car when the guard agreed to let him use the restroom.

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