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SWAT Team Ends Juvenile Center Standoff

SWAT teams were called in to saw through a 3- to 4-inch thick steel door to reach four teens who had barricaded themselves in an office after allegedly leading an uprising at a juvenile detention center. The power saw cut through the door about an hour after authorities gave up their negotiations and began using tear gas and small explosive charges to dislodge the four barricaded teens.

The incident began at 7:15 a.m., July 15, 1998, at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center in Portland, Oregon, when more than a dozen youths in a closed custody unit allegedly attacked guards with chains and wooden legs from smashed furniture. Four staff members were treated for minor injuries.

A caller who described himself as one of the four teens barricaded in the office told a Portland television station the disturbance began after a fellow prisoner was beaten by guards for dropping a tray of food.

"The staff tried to assault a student, so we beat the staff up," the boy told the station. The way I see it, I stuck up for my fellow inmates."

Police spokesperson Cheryl Kanzler did not confirm whether a prisoner dropped a tray of food. She said only that "something happened" and the boys were told to put their heads down on the table. The four youngsters at the center of the standoff refused, said Kanzler, and "the fight was on."

Seattle Times

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