The Avalonia Group Home in Marietta is a place for at-risk teens. For many, it's a last resort before serving time.
"Kids from troubled homes, kids who have been in trouble with law enforcement (go there)," said Deputy Jonathan Smith with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. "The Department of Juvenile Justice does place some children in a home up there."
But over the weekend, deputies said three teens beat down an employee at Avalonia during some outside recreation time, and then took off with his car.
"Three of the residents - one jumped on his back, and while he was on his back, two others took him to the ground, started choking him, trying to get things from his pockets," said Smith.
Warrants allege Jus-Luis Reyes, Alfred Taylor and an unidentified juvenile attacked the employee, grabbed his keys and escaped from the group home in the employee's car.
Deputies said the struggle was enough to leave the employee, who wasn't identified in the incident reports, unconscious.
The report also said the teenage suspects hightailed it to Newberry County before the car broke down along Interstate 26. Late Saturday night, a trooper noticed the car, and as he approached, authorities said the teens ran, and led to an hours-long manhunt.
Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster told FOX Carolina over the weekend that they caught up with the teens just in time.
"We actually think they were going to car jack this guy that called it in, but he was alert," said Foster.
It was early Sunday morning before deputies were able to catch up with the teens, out all night in dreary conditions.
"In the end they were wet and cold," Foster said.
The teens are now out of the cold, and are in a cell. Reyes and Taylor, both 17, were charged as adults with strong armed robbery, grand larceny and second-degree assault by a mob. They're each being held on a $50,000 bail.
The juvenile accused is at the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center. Because of his age, authorities did not release his identity.
Avalonia Group Home had no comment when reached tonight.
Deputies said that despite the victim being knocked unconscious, he didn't require hospital care.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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