Teen offender who escaped Sonoma County Probation Camp rescued from Forestville pond

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A search for a boy who escaped from the Sonoma County Probation Camp near Forestville turned into a rescue mission Tuesday morning after the 17-year-old took refuge in a nearby pond.

Probation camp staff told the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office the boy fled the campus near Shone Farm around 7 a.m. and ran toward Eastside Road, said sheriff’s spokesman Juan Valencia. The road runs parallel to the Russian River and several vineyards southwest of Windsor.

Almost two hours after the search began, a deputy briefly spotted him in a heavily wooded area one mile away from the camp and minutes later heard someone calling for help. A drone located the teen in a pond, Valencia said.

Two deputies noticed he was struggling to stay afloat and went into the water, pulling him to safety with long tree branches they had tied together, Valencia said.

The teen, whose name was withheld by authorities because he is a minor, was checked for injuries and booked into juvenile hall on misdemeanor escape charges.

The probation camp is a short-term correctional facility with 24 beds for youth offenders between 15 and 18 years old. The teens are provided counseling, vocational training and opportunities to work toward a high school diploma or GED, according to its website.

You can reach Staff Writer Yousef Baig at 707-521-5390 or On Twitter @YousefBaig.

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