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Five teens living in a Bayside group home for troubled youth were slated to be permanently transferred from the facility after they were arrested Jan. 31 and allegedly assaulted police officers, a spokeswoman for the agency operating the home said Monday.
Community Affairs Officer Anthony Lombardi of the 111th Police Precinct said officers responded to the group home at 34-32 214th Place last month after one of the residents, Leonard Chin, 16, allegedly attempted to set fire to his room.
Lombardi said when officers attempted to subdue and arrest Chin on arson charges, several other teens stepped in and began assaulting the cops, including one resident who allegedly used a pair of brass knuckles during the incident.
Pam Houghton, a spokeswoman for St. Vincents Services, a Brooklyn-based agency that operates the Bayside group home, said the youths would be placed in other facilities. Houghton said the Jan. 31 incident was not typical of the agencys group homes.
Five teens ages 16 to 18 were arrested after the incident, Lombardi said. Chin, Alex Bonds, 18, Ethian Miranda, 18, and Mike Jimenez, 16, were charged with arson, assault, riot and resisting arrest, Lombardi said. A juvenile who was not identified was also arrested, he said.
Houghton said none will be returning to the home. Theyre still in police custody.
The St. Vincents Bayside home has been operating for more than 25 years, said Houghton, who described the incident as rare.
Up until now that group home has been very, very fine, she said.
St. Vincents Services operates four Queens group homes for troubled teens from throughout the city, Houghton said. Each home features a family setting and includes between 10 and 12 youths and several live-in staff members as well as a variety of support staff.
The Bayside home underwent a major renovation about 10 years ago, she said, and includes a deck and a recreation area.
During the incident last month, Houghton said, St. Vincents called police when one of the youngsters failed to respond to staff.
She said the agencys group homes are pretty calm for the most part.
St. Vincents Services emphasizes education and works either to reunite teens and children with their families or to help youths gain independence, Houghton said. The agency runs a center in Jamaica to provide its kids with access to counseling and computer labs.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community Newspaper Group
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