LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A juvenile who escaped custody this morning has been found. Maumelle residents credit the safe capture due in part to a city-wide notification system.
"It very well could have saved lives," says Maumelle Resident John Vaprezsan.
Maumelle police say the teen was found in the Rolling Hills Subdivision in Maumelle.
Vaprezsan says he and his wife awoke to a Code Red Alert System recently implement by the city.
"I would have never known something was wrong had I not heard the hotline," says Vaprezsan.
Vaprezsan says after seeing the alert, hours later he met up with the 16-year-old in his driveway. He says he recognized the teen based on the description given in the alert.
"(I) saw him. We made eye contact. He went one way. I went the other." said Vaprezsan.
He says he then pointed police the direction in which the teen fled.
The suspect escaped just after midnight Tuesday from the Methodist Behavior Hospital in Maumelle. Staff say he kicked down a door to escape. Hospital staff report that the juvenile later returned, brandishing a hand gun. Police say secured that gun by breaking into a vehicle after his escape.
Lt. Jim Hansard with the Maumelle police department tells Today's THV that the teen was in the facility after being investigated in relation to some car thefts.
The juvenile is being held at Maumelle Police headquarters. He now faces charges of commercial burglary, theft of property, breaking and entering and aggravated assault. Officers say he is charged as a juvenile.
Maumelle Police Department encourages all residents of the city to sign up for their Code Red Alert Notification System.