Monday evening, Spokane Police received a call from Excelsior Youth Center about a fight at the location. Police later learned that multiple fights had broken out in the gym area and a fire alarm had been pulled.
When officers arrived, they came across a hostile crowd of about 50 hostile juveniles actively fighting. The crowd interfered as officers tried to separated and arrest those that were fighting.
One officer was elbowed in the face, and two others sustained minor injuries while arresting several involved in the fight.
Seven staff members at the facility also were assaulted by students.
Police say they arrested five juveniles in total. At this time, they are facing eighteen charges combined including criminal mischief, 4th degree assault, and assault on law enforcement.
Excelsior Youth Center has a long history in Spokane. It started as an asylum for underage girls. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd gave these girls a place to call home. But while the sisters have been helping these young women, cases of misbehaved children have surfaced through the years including Monday night's riot.
Andrew Hill, Excelsior's CEO, issued the following statement Tuesday:
We are proud to see the agency values of unity, professionalism, and communication guiding Excelsior staff. After intensive review, the skill, care, and thoughtfulness of our crew is clear. Thanks to Spokane Police Department and our Children’s Administration Licensor for accepting our invitation to join our formal de-briefing this afternoon. The collaboration with SPD during the debrief was a new experience for us, and it was mutually beneficial. SPD commented on the professionalism of our staff during the incident, that they had no idea we operate under such formal review processes, and that our commitment to continuous improvement was clear. Excelsior’s policies and procedures were followed, which contributed to a successful outcome. Excelsior’s administration reviewed body camera footage that highlighted the initial responding officer’s professionalism, thoughtfulness and use of CIT training, which also contributed to the outcome. Thank you for your support of Excelsior, and the youth and families we serve.