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Escapees flee into cornfield

Escapees flee into cornfield

Sept. 21, 1976: Before dawn a police helicopter searches a cornfield for escapees from the California Youth Authority training school.

Staff writers John Kendall and Jerry Belcher reported in the Sep. 22, 1976, Los Angeles Times:

CHINO – Thirteen inmates of the big California Youth Authority training school here escaped early Tuesday, leaving behind two badly battered correction officers and a riot-torn detention dormitory.

By midmorning, seven had been captured, including 20-year-old Jordan Flagg of Los Angeles, described as the ringleader of the riot-breakout.

Flagg and three others were flushed from a 50-acre cornfield near the school as scores of officers, backed up by a big corn-cutting machine, made sweeps through the dense, 8-to-10-foot stand of corn.

Three other escapees were captured about 7:10 a.m. in Ontario, about eight miles away. …

The cornfield was cordoned off by more than 200 CYA officers and lawmen drawn from neighboring communities. Two helicopters made low-level runs over the cornfield in an attempt to spot the escapees. …

All three of these photos by staff photographers Joe Kennedy and Robert Lachman were published in the Sep. 22, 1976, Los Angeles Times.

Sept. 21, 1976: Officers peer into a Chino cornfield where escaped inmates from the California Youth Authority training school had taken refuge. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times.

Sept. 21, 1976: Lawmen take Jordan Flagg, suspected ringleader of a riot-breakout at the California Youth Authority training school in Chino, from a nearby cornfield where he had been hiding. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

In early 2010, the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility, formerly the CYA training school, was closed. The site became part of the California Institution for Men.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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