Three teenagers escaped from S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice custody Monday morning while being taken to an eye doctor appointment.
Columbia Police and DJJ officials are searching for the three teens, who were last seen wearing khaki shorts and white T-shirts, according to a press released from the Columbia Police Department.
The missing teens are Ritchie Rashawri Hicks, 17, who is from Clarendon County; Daetron Diontrae Grant, 18, of Richland County; and Ja-Quan Brewton, 19, from Spartanburg County, the police department reported.
Hicks is serving a 12 to 18 month sentence for simple assault and for presenting and pointing a firearm at a person. He was committed to DJJ in March 2011.
Grant is serving an 18 to 36 month sentence for reckless driving and failure to stop for a blue light. He was committed to DJJ in February 2010.
Brewton is serving an 18 to 36 month sentence for drug possession. He was committed to DJJ in July 2011.
The teens were handcuffed and shackled Monday morning before they were loaded in a van to be driven to their eye doctor appointment.
When security officers were escorting the teens off the van in the 200 block of Taylor Street, they had shed their handcuffs and ankle shackles, police said. They also ditched their DJJ-issued teal polo shirts in the van.
The teens ran toward Oak Street.
It is unclear how they removed their handcuffs and ankle shackles. No one was injured.
Anyone who sees the teens or knows of their whereabouts should call 911 or S.C. Crimestoppers at 1-888-274-6372.
Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.