CLARKSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A juvenile who escaped Rutherford County juvenile detention and has been on the run since April has been captured and is being held in a Kentucky detention facility.
Investigators have been searching for 16-year-old Tai Harrell for weeks. He was taken into custody in Oak Grove, KY around 11 p.m. Thursday night. Multiple tips according to Clarksville Police turned up nothing in the previous weeks, and the TBI had upgraded him to their most wanted list.
"There were occasions when he was spotted driving a vehicle but, due to his known total disregard for safety and displayed reckless behavior, police chose not to pursue the vehicle and further endanger the public," a spokesperson for Clarksville Police said in a statement.
Harrell reportedly stole money and items from unlocked vehicles and even stole the vehicles themselves that were left running or had keys inside. Harrell was eventually spotted Thursday in a vehicle while investigators were searching one of the known areas where he would be. He was soon followed to a home on Tyler Street in Oak Grove and investigators were called in to apprehend him. They found him hiding inside a closet in the home.
Harrell was taken into custody and transported to a Kentucky juvenile detention facility. His extradition will be coordinated through juvenile authorities. He has a court date in Hopkinsville, KY on Tuesday.
There are 26 juvenile charges on file for Harrell. The investigation is still ongoing and more charges are expected. Additional charges for those who may have harbored or assisted Harrell are also pending.
A pickup truck that Harrell reportedly stole at the time of his escape was recovered abandoned at an apartment complex. The gun that was inside the truck has not been found.