EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After multiple crimes in the past three months in El Paso involving teenagers, two independent sources confirm to KTSM 9 News that the same 14-year-old has been linked to three incidents.
On Monday the El Paso Police Department said two 14-year-old boys were arrested after a string of aggravated robberies across El Paso.
KTSM sources say one of those 14-year-olds was also involved in a different robbery spree in February and is the same teen who was the driver in the fiery crash in January that left another teen dead.
The El Paso County chief of juvenile prosecution would not speak specifically about the teen but said the decision to refer a youth to the Juvenile Probation Department after a crime is up to law enforcement.
“Generally speaking, the decision whether to refer them to the department initially, physically is a law enforcement decision. The system allows them to do either. There is no prohibition on them releasing back to their parents or they can choose to physically refer,” said Assistant County Attorney Emily Dawson, the chief of the juvenile prosecution unit.
Sources have told KTSM that the 14-year-old had severe burns following the crash in East El Paso and was taken to a burn hospital in Lubbock in January.
KTSM asked Dawson if an injury could be an exception when it comes to law enforcement referring a youth to the Juvenile Probation Department.
“The only exception would be is if there were medical issues that required clearance from the hospital, in which case they would have to go to the hospital and get clearance to bring in a child if they had, for example, been injured during an offense but that’s a law enforcement decision up front,” Dawson said.
The County Attorney’s Office says if there is medical clearance from the hospital, there is a nurse available in detention.
The El Paso Police Department also said they were unable to comment about the specific cases, but sent us the following statement.
“We are unable to comment on specific cases that involve juvenile offenders or victims as their identity is protected by law from disclosure under the Texas Family Code. As far as yesterday’s release, that juvenile was physically referred to JPD,” said Sgt. Robert Gomez, a spokesperson for the El Paso Police Department.
In that statement, police confirmed that the teen involved in Monday’s multiple aggravated robberies was referred to the Juvenile Probation Department.