Craighead County Juvenile Handlers to Boost Security

MAY 31, 2006 - Posted at 2:03 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - Craighead County officials are tightening security in the way they transport juveniles in custody.

The county is taking the steps because of a violent attack last week on a juvenile probation officer while she was driving a van from court to the youth lockup.  A 14-year-old boy who was in leg chains and handcuffs used his handcuff chain to try to strangle officer Amy Powell.

Officials say Powell briefly blacked out but was able to stop the van after it went off the road.  The 14-year-old escaped but was captured a short time later.

County officials are adding a metal cage screen to go behind the van's front seat.  Powell did not have a gun but officers do have the option of storing a weapon in the van.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)