KEARNEY — For the second time in four days, boys at Kearney’s Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center have caused a ruckus.
About 8:30 p.m. Sunday, eight boys in Lincoln Cottage on YRTC’s campus flipped over mattresses at the facility.
“Some of the youth were just goofing around, was how it was explained to me,” said Russ Reno, a spokesperson for the state Department of Health and Human Services, which runs YRTC. “It wasn’t a very serious matter.”
No staff or other juveniles were hurt in the incident, and no juveniles were disciplined. Law enforcement officers weren’t called in the incident.
Eleven boys from a similar incident Jan. 30 each received 60-day deferment of early release after the uproar they caused drew the attention of law enforcement officers from three agencies.
The reprimands mean when the youths finish their treatment program they must serve another 60 days at YRTC for disciplinary action, Reno said.
Around 12:15 a.m., Jan. 30, officers from the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office, the Kearney Police Department and the Nebraska State Patrol were called to YRTC because a large group of youths were out of control. The incident didn’t escalate to the point of becoming violent for either staff or other juveniles, but staff members called law enforcement for assistance, which brought the situation under control.
The 11 boys were tearing up beds and throwing them in the Bryant Living Unit. One staff member was on duty at the time. According to law enforcement radio traffic, the KPD’s ESU team, similar to a SWAT team, removed the boys from the room one-by-one.
No assaults on staff or juveniles were reported, and no arrests were made in the Jan. 30 incident.