YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A little more than 24 hours from when it all began, 17-year-old Jeremy Britton is back in the Youngstown Juvenile Justice Center Thursday night.
JJC officials described the teen’s escape and the police search that followed as rare and unpredictable, but Britton’s family and friends are thankful it all ended peacefully.
After escaping the JJC Wednesday morning, carjacking a woman near Youngstown State’s campus, stealing her car, crashing it, and running away into the woods, police found Britton and took him into custody after officials were able to “ping” his friend’s cell phone.
“We developed information of who he was with and through that, was able to get the cell phone number we started pinging from and it was incredibly accurate as to where he was at,” said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.
About mid-morning, the sheriff’s office, the FBI, and U.S. Marshals surrounded a house in the 400 block of Salt Springs Road in Youngstown. When they knocked on the door, 22-year-old Miranda Little answered and said Britton was inside.
“Took him into custody, he’s back at JJC. That was their choice, they wanted to house him,” Greene said.
Little, Britton’s childhood friend, lives at the home. She told police the teen showed up on her doorstep around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Little is facing charges for housing him.
“She’s gonna be charged with obstructing justice, which is a Felony 3, and possession of criminal tools, which is a Felony 5,” Greene said.
Juvenile Court Magistrate Carla Baldwin said she’s glad Britton is back and unharmed, but they will be taking extra precautions with him and the rest of their students.
“Right now, he will be closely monitored and any kind of recreation or freedom will be closely monitored.”
Britton is being charged with two counts of felonious assault on top of his aggravated robbery charges from the Poland Burger King robbery. He will be tried as an adult.
Sheriff Greene is calling this a job well done.
“It was just a melting pot. Like I said, the FBI, the Marshals, YPD, the sheriff’s office, employees from JJC were there,” he said. “It was nice to have that manpower at the drop of a hat.”
Britton’s family said they are happy the teen was found safe.