DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — A west Atlanta suburban sheriff is red-faced after his deputies left two teenagers locked inside the county courthouse holding cell all weekend without food, water, lights or toilet paper.
The Douglas County Sheriff offered a sincere mea culpa and said there is no excuse for how his officers left two juvenile suspects locked up in a holding cell all weekend at the county courthouse.
“It’s obvious we need to make some changes at the courthouse, to make sure our procedures are followed (and) that this doesn’t happen again,” Sheriff Phil Miller said. “I’m embarrassed today as I can possibly be.”
Expect heads to roll inside the Douglas County Sheriffs Department as a result of this flagrant negligence of duty.
The identity of the juveniles, ages 16 and 17, were not released by Douglas County Sheriffs Department officials. Fortunately, the two teens were not harmed but reportedly told officers they were starving.
The jailed teens had court appearances on Friday. However, since neither of the suspects’ parents showed up for court, the boys were supposed to be transported back to the youth detention center and then reappear in court the following week.
Instead, they were put in a courthouse holding cell and forgotten about. The deputies went home for the weekend and the teens had no way to get out nor communicate with the outside world.
“Nobody that works in security is supposed to leave that building at night without checking the cells, and it’s not a hard job to do.”
Miller said the teens weren’t discovered until Monday morning.
The sheriff admitted up to eight to 10 officers may have been responsible for Friday’s mishap, and officers may lose their job once he completes his internal investigation.