Twenty juveniles were arrested after a disturbance at the Downing Clark Center in Gordon County, last week.
Gordon County deputy sheriffs responded to the report of a disturbance at the facility, a juvenile resident treatment center, at approximately 10:20 p.m. The center is located at 1773 Trimble Hollow Road in unincorporated Adairsville, Gordon County.
According to the sheriff’s office:
Responding deputies found the resident juveniles and young-adults “out of control”, divided into opposing groups, and displaying hostility toward the few staff members on site as well as the officers.
Food and other items were thrown and strewn about, and several doors were damaged. Amidst the confusion, the responding officers worked to contain the disturbance, which involved multiple groups of girls in different sections of the building.
Deputies report that the situation was compounded by “what appeared to be an insufficient amount of staff members to fully control the unruly residents.”
The initial responding officers requested assistance and additional deputy sheriffs as well as state troopers were dispatched to the scene.
The officers arrested a total of 20 facility residents. Fifteen of those arrested were juveniles who were charged with offenses against public order in Gordon County Juvenile Court. The following persons were also arrested and charged with rioting:
Helen Francis Lowe, age 17, 1773 Trimble Hollow Road, Adairsville.
Felicia Jatoyia White, age 17, 982 Joseph Blvd., Atlanta.
Iesha Rajeehay Cromer, age 17, 1773 Trimble Hollow Road, Adairsville.
Aioshi Abrion Orbisorn, age 17, 200 Tutt Road, Cornelia, Ga.
Whitney Katrina Parker, age 17, 1773 Trimble Hollow Road, Adairsville.
Georgia law requires persons aged 17 and over who are arrested for criminal offenses be treated as adults in the criminal justice system.
Officers were on the scene for several hours.
The 15 juveniles were all detained in Regional Youth Detention Centers by order of the Juvenile Court.
“We are saddened by our girls aged 12 to 17 that were arrested. The safety and well being of our girls is priority number one as always for our girls,” said Downing-Clark President and Co-founder Kelly Clark. “We are looking forward to getting with our sheriff to establish a protocol for a treatment facility and for our unique situation.”
Clark said that no youths or staff members were injured during Monday night’s disturbance.
This incident was not the first disturbance at the center, and the investigation into the events is ongoing.