July 29, 2023
Media Contact: Probation Media
Security Increased Following Disturbance at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall
High-level supervision, lockdown ordered following incident; no serious injuries reported
LOS ANGELES, CA (July 29, 2023) — Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall remains on lockdown and the Probation Department has instituted additional security measures following a major disturbance at the facility involving 13 youths late Friday.
One of the youths temporarily escaped during the disturbance but was immediately apprehended by officers from the Probation Department’s Special Enforcement Operations unit. Since he is 18 years old, the Department has asked the LA County Sheriff’s Department to book him as an adult.
The remaining 12 youths have been placed in individual rooms at Los Padrinos under one-on-one supervision. No serious injuries to youth or staff were reported during the incident, and a subsequent headcount found all 273 youth at the facility present and accounted for.
Interim Probation Chief Guillermo Viera Rosa has ordered that beginning immediately, a Department Bureau Chief — among the highest-ranking officers in the department — be present to supervise operations during every shift at Los Padrinos.
He has also ordered that OC spray be temporarily issued to all permanent staff at Los Padrinos until the facility is fully stabilized, a decision he will revisit in a few days.
“Any time you move a large number of youths, especially to a new facility as we have in the last week or two, there is a potential for problems and we plan for those,” said Viera Rosa. “But Friday night’s disturbance was an emergency that required an immediate and strong response. I’m thankful that no youth were seriously hurt, and with the help of other law enforcement agencies, we were able to reestablish order.”
Viera Rosa said the incident began around 8 p.m., when seven youth assaulted staff and broke open an exterior door of their living unit. They broke the window of a second unit, allowing six others to join them on the facility grounds. The oldest youth climbed a wall and escaped onto an adjacent golf course, where he was immediately apprehended.
Downey Police Department, Downey Fire Department, South Gate Police Department and Sheriff’s Department responded with assistance. The Sheriff’s Department helicopter provided air support.
To further bolster security efforts at Los Padrinos, Viera Rosa has also asked Michael Minor, a private security consultant and former director of the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation’s Division of Juvenile Justice, to work with staff as it stabilizes operations at Los Padrinos.