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Youth facility administrator charged with reckless endangerment of children after escape


The assistant administrator of a DCS facility has been charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment following the escape of juveniles in March.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2022 at 5:00 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The assistant facility administrator of a DCS facility has now been charged with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon following the escape of juveniles on March 19.

Robert Thomas was indicted on May 5 and later pleaded not guilty, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Jackson.

Thomas’ arrest comes after juveniles in DCS custody from Rosewood Youth Academy, a facility operated by the private company Youth Opportunity.

A police report details that the juveniles escaped by overpowering and attacking a supervisor and then stealing his car.

That report also detailed that the juveniles drove to rural Wilson County where they crashed the car.

According to a juvenile interviewed later by police, an unnamed assistant director chased after them in his Lexus, firing at them while they were driving, causing them to crash.

Surveillance video from a home near the crash shows the juveniles running and someone chasing after them, firing in the air.

At the time of the crash, Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan told News4 Investigates it was unclear why an administrator for a youth facility would fire, even up in the air, while chasing children.

“I do expect some criminal charges to come out of this. It is reckless. This whole incident is reckless. Somebody needs to answer for this,” Bryan told News4 Investigates on March 22.

On LinkedIn, Thomas is listed as the assistant administrator for Rosewood, though his attorney said he is no longer with the facility but was unclear why.

Profile shows Robert Thomas listed as assistant facility administrator at Walnut and Rosewood...
Profile shows Robert Thomas listed as assistant facility administrator at Walnut and Rosewood Academy(Linkedin)

News4 Investigates reached Thomas by phone before his indictment, and he indicated he would speak with us if he was charged.

Since then, his number is no longer working.

Thomas’s attorney said he had no further comment.

No one from DCS or Youth Opportunity, which has been the subject of several News4 Investigates stories, responded to News4 Investigates’ request for comment.

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