Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A 911 call, an internal metro contract and an investigation by a private company all show that employees violated their own policies in the litany of errors made when four teenagers escaped the Juvenile Justice Center on Saturday night.

The center is operated by the Indianapolis-based company Youth Opportunity.

Escape policy outlined in contract

News4 Investigates obtained copies of their contract, renegotiated this year with the city, that stipulates if an escape occurs that the company’s employees are to immediately call 911.

But a 911 call obtained by News 4 Investigates shows it took more than a half hour for the facility’s supervisor, identified as Patrick Jones, to call 911.

In the 911 call, Jones expresses confusion as to what he was supposed to do.

“Do I contact 911 or do I contact...I called the other number and they had me on hold,” Jones said in the call.

The contract also states that the employees are not to pursue if juveniles escape.

But Kathy Sinback, court administrator for the Davidson County Juvenile Court, said Jones drove around in his personal vehicle looking for the escapees before calling 911.

“We do not yet know why the person chose not to call. We know he drove around in his car calling non-emergency numbers,” Sinback said.

An internal investigation by Youth Opportunity also shows that employees were dispatched to look for the escaped juveniles after they were determined missing.

The Youth Opportunity internal review shows a litany of mistakes were made that allowed for the escape to happen.

The four were allowed out on a work detail after hours to clean when a fight broke out nearby. Unsupervised, the four then entered an elevator that had been left ajar. The four then convinced a staff member to call master control to send the elevator to the basement. The basement, which is unsecured, then allowed them to enter a public area and escape out the front doors.

In a statement, Youth Opportunities said they have placed four employees on suspension, however, the internal reviews they recommend three of the four be terminated. In that statement, the company called the escape and "unfortunate incident" and an "isolated event."

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