2 juveniles captured, 1 on the run after escaping Harris County detention center

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Authorities have released the identity of the third inmate who escaped from the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center. That inmate, 16-year-old Deionthay Harper, was captured by the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force on Monday.

"Easy, easy. They weren't doing their job," Harper said about the escape, Monday, before being transported back to the same facility.

The task force also captured Alferis Coby, 16, already charged with capital murder, following a robbery and shooting in a nightclub parking lot.

One juvenile, Jahrell West, remains on the run.

"We are pursuing some very active leads at this time, and I think we're pretty close we'll just have to wait and see," Gary Blankinship, U.S. marshal for the Southern District of Texas, said.

Coby was found on a West Houston street. Harper was picked up inside a southwest Houston home, possibly a relative's.

"I love you family, I love you mom," Harper said as he was ushered in the waiting police car.

It all started when Coby, who is already accused of capital murder and aggravated robbery, talked a guard into opening his cell door for him, telling the guard he needed some toiletries, officials said.

Constable Alan Rosen, Harris County Precinct 1, will lead the team in charge of investigating the escape at the detention facility.

Another agency, Harris County Juvenile Probation is responsible for securing prisoners, Rosen said.

It is not yet clear if the teens had help with their escape.

"If they did get help, they will be targeted," Rosen said.

With the cell door open, officials said, Coby attacked the juvenile detention officer, beating him viciously and leaving him lying on the floor.

"One of the juveniles allegedly assaulted one of the juvenile supervisors and beat him down pretty badly. He then took his keys, his phone, so there was no way to communicate, and he let two other juveniles out," Tom Brooks, executive director of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, said.

The three teens then made their way through four different sets of doors, out to the street and vanished.

Two of the three teens, Coby and West, have been certified to stand trial as adults.

Coby is charged with capital murder in the carjacking and murder of Juan Carlos Ramirez of Houston outside the F-Bar in March.

"I just can't believe it," Ramirez's father, Sergio Ramirez, said. "This (happened) at the jail. These guys were in jail. How could the guards let this happen?"

At the time of the breakout, authorities said only one guard was on the floor of the detention center where the teens escaped, meaning there was one guard in charge of guarding 24 cells.

Authorities said an inmate's door is never to be opened unless at least two guards are on duty on that floor at the same time.

Officials with the Harris County District Attorney's Office said an inmate had never escaped during the nine years the facility has been open.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers or the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

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