Juvenile returned after being mistakenly released by Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff’s Office

Juvenile returned after being mistakenly released by Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff’s Office
Police Lights (Source: WWNY)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A 16-year-old mistakenly released from the Mecklenburg County Juvenile Detention Center Thursday night has been returned.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested the juvenile Thursday night and returned him to custody.

“I am grateful for the efforts of all involved in the safe apprehension of the young man at issue,” MCSO Sheriff McFadden said.

The juvenile was being held pursuant to a Secure Custody Order put in place by a Juvenile Court Judge, requiring that they remain in custody.

The afternoon of March 24, additional charges were filed against them; motor vehicle offenses under Chapter 20 of the North Carolina Code, which by law require prosecution as an adult.

As a result, the 17-year-old was brought from the Juvenile Detention Center to the Arrest Processing Center at Detention Center-Central at approximately 5:45 p.m. and served warrants for those motor vehicle offenses.

About an hour later, a magistrate judge set terms and conditions for the 16-year-old’s release on the adult charges, and the 16-year-old was returned to the Juvenile Detention Center.

Shortly after 10 p.m., the 16-year-old’s family appeared at Detention Center-Central prepared to meet the terms and conditions of release ordered by the judge on the adult charges. They were released just after midnight.

Friday morning, the Mecklenburg County sheriff’s Office said the juvenile had been safely returned to custody.

Due to the strict confidentiality requirements surrounding juvenile records, those records are maintained separate from the records of adult offenders – even when a 16-year-old is facing both juvenile and adult charges. MCSO staff processing the release of the 16-year-old for the adult motor vehicle offenses would not have been privy to the records maintained at the Juvenile Detention Center, including the fact that the 16-year-old was held pursuant to a Secure Custody Order on his juvenile charges.

“MCSO accepts full responsibility for this erroneous release,” McFadden said Thursday. “MCSO will now see through our internal investigation, carefully scrutinizing our processes, procedures and training to ensure that the mistakes that led to the erroneous release will never be repeated.”

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