Report: Inmates staged fight, took employee's car during escape

Tajah Bing, 16, still sought by Jacksonville police after Saturday escape

By Kelly Wiley - I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Monday continued to look for the last of four teenagers accused of breaking out of a juvenile detention center, taking an employee's car and driving away.

Investigators said Tajah Bing, 16, and three other inmates escaped from the Jacksonville Youth Academy on Saturday night. As of Monday evening, Bing was still on the run.

According to an internal incident report obtained by News4Jax, the four teenagers staged a fight within their dorm. When staff members responded, the four attacked, fighting employees of the facility in the control room. At some point, a button was pushed, which allowed access to the front door.

Investigators believe the four took off in a staff member's personal vehicle.

The report also said a staff member's purse was emptied of its belongings. Her keys and her assigned cellphone were taken.

The three other inmates, Davionne Baldwin, Tyjuan Monroe and Marcus Ledbetter were found on Sunday and taken into custody.

According to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the Jacksonville Youth Academy is a residential facility that provides mental and behavioral services to male teen offenders. The 24-bed facility is run by TrueCore Behavioral LLC, a private company that operates 27 of the state's juvenile justice programs including Duval Academy and Gulf Academy.

Records show in 2017, four male juveniles escaped from TrueCore Behavioral's non-secure facility in Hastings. Video showed a juvenile requesting access to a restroom during sleep hours, which is when the required guard-to-juvenile staff ratio is lower. A staff member was overpowered, and their keys and radio were taken. Three other juveniles were then let out of their rooms.

When the inspector general investigated the incident in 2017, he found accusations of improper supervision were not sustained.

When asked about the most recent escape, TrueCore said it will not comment on an ongoing investigation, but said it was reviewing policies and procedures. The Department of Juvenile Justice said it's investigating, and if it discovers failures of policies and procedures, it said it will take action as necessary.

If Bing is seen, investigators ask you call 911 immediately.

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