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CBS4 Investigation: Inmate Armed During Juvenile Jailbreak

UPDATE: Denver police tweeted on Friday morning that the juvenile who was described as being at large in this story has been arrested.

By Mark Ackerman

DENVER (CBS4)- CBS4 has learned someone threw a gun over the fence to a waiting inmate at a Denver juvenile detention center, sparking a brazen breakout earlier this month.

On May 6, two juveniles escaped from the Gilliam Youth Services Center in Denver's Whittier neighborhood. One escapee is in custody, the other is still on the run.

juvenile suspect
Longe Thau (credit: Denver Police)

The person on the outside threw a gun over the fence. A juvenile inmate picked it up and took a fellow inmate hostage. Together the inmates walked out of the facility, one inmate holding the other at gunpoint. Youth detention officers do not carry firearms.

One of the juvenile escapees was arrested two blocks from the facility that same day.

Gilliam Youth Exteriors copy
Gilliam Youth Services Center (credit: CBS)

A second suspect, Longe Thau, 17, is still on the run and according to Denver police, has been known to carry weapons. Thau is described as 5-foot-9 and 130 pounds.

Anyone with information regarding this crime or knows where Longe Thau is located, is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter your message or send an e-mail to If the information you provide leads to the arrest and charging of a wanted individual, you can receive a cash reward up to $2,000.

Gilliam Youth Interior copy
(credit: CBS)

"We are disturbed by the details surrounding the recent events at Gilliam Youth Services Center. Thankfully, no one was injured." said Nourie Boraie, spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Gilliam Yard 2 copy
(credit: CBS)

"We are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation while we undergo our own investigation into this incident. DYS takes the safety and security of all the staff and youth in our care very seriously and we are always improving processes and implementing new measures to ensure a safe environment. DYS is working to increase security measures and provide active response training for staff. DYS will continue to improve systems and processes to prioritize the safety of the community, staff and kids we serve."

Gilliam Yard copy
(credit: CBS)

This isn't the first time a juvenile from the Gilliam Youth Services Facility has escaped. In 2014, a 13-year-old boy, who was cuffed and shackled, escaped from Sheriff's deputies while being transported from a court appearance.

Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark

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