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January 11, 2016

Teens charged after allegedly taking worker hostage at Berks juvenile detention center

Two teens, ages 15 and 16, allegedly took a man hostage and attempted to escape from a Berks County juvenile detention center Saturday morning, authorities said.

According to police, Robert Battle Jr., 15, of West Lawn, and Herminio Caraballo, 16, of Allentown, were arrested and charged as adults with attempted homicide following an alleged incident that occurred at about 6 a.m. at the Abraxas Academy Youth Detention Center at 1000 Academy Drive in New Morgan Township.

Police said Steven Davis, 26, of Fleetwood, an employee at Abraxas, had been walking the halls when Caraballo called him to come to his room to ask for a bandage.

When Davis brought the bandage and unlocked the door to Caraballo's room, Caraballo and his roommate, Battle, assaulted Davis and pulled him into the room, locking them all together inside, police alleged.

According to officials, the teens took Davis' radio after beating the detention center worker about the head and body. They also allegedly attempted to strangle Davis and threatened to kill him, police said in a statement released Monday. 

Police said that during the alleged incident, Davis convinced the teens he could help them if they let him live, and Caraballo and Battle allowed him to use his radio to call to have the doors to the room opened. 

When another staff member approached the door, police said Davis yelled to alert his co-worker that he was inside the room, and additional staff were called before the room's door was opened. 

Law enforcement officials alleged that when the door opened, Battle ran out holding Davis' keys, while Caraballo came out holding a pen to Davis' throat, threatening to kill the employee. 

The teens attempted to move past staff members but were restrained, police said. Police said Davis was taken to Reading Hospital for treatment.