Sometime after midnight Wednesday, Atlantic County Sheriff Michael Petuskey said four male teens assaulted and overpowered a corrections officer, stole a set of keys and then escaped from the Harborfields Youth Detention Center in a stolen car.
Surveillance video from nearby the scene shows authorities chasing the stolen vehicle and the moment the group crashed the car into a home on 900 block of Buerger Street and then ran off.
They are described as an 18-year-old, two 16-year-olds, and one 17-year-old. One was wearing white boxers and a light-colored shirt, two were wearing cream-colored thermals and one had on a black polo with the letters AYC on it and khaki pants.
K-9s, several Atlantic County police departments and the New Jersey State Police helicopter are helping in the search, which included dozens of officers.
Sheriff Petuskey said the teens were last spotted on St. Louis Avenue.
Police are concerned that the teens may try to break into homes to get clothes or warm up, as they are not dressed for the cold weather. Egg Harbor City Schools are closed Wednesday as a precaution.
“Due to an unsafe situation, the police have requested schools be closed today. There is no school today, November 15, 2017,” the Egg Harbor City School Distict posted on their website.
In addition, the Greater Egg Harbor Regional School District, Hamilton Township School District, Galloway Township Public Schools and Mullica Township School District are also closed Wednesday.
The teens are not believed to be armed, but are still considered dangerous.
The injured corrections officer was treated at a local hospital and is expected to be OK.