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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — Three out of four teenagers accused of leading police in a chase across Broward County appeared in juvenile court, Tuesday afternoon, and the hearing quickly spiraled into chaos after a suspect’s outburst.
The 15-year-old male suspects are facing several charges in connection to Monday evening’s chase, including burglary, grand theft auto and eluding police. A fourth female suspect, also 15, did not appear in court.
Suspected driver Maurice Thomas triggered a disruptive chain reaction after he became upset when the judge ordered him to spend the next 21 days in detention.
The ruling did not go over well with his friends and family. 7News cameras captured a young woman dancing while another lashed out at a guard with obscenities. Meanwhile, suspect Dontavious Butler flashed two rows of gold teeth for the camera.
The judge tried calming down the suspects’ friends and family but was eventually forced to clear the courtroom.
According to Lauderhill Police, Dontavious, Maurice, Malik Roberts and the female suspect were in a stolen Hyundai Sonata in Lighthouse Point and fled police as they darted in and out of Interstate 95 and drove through several neighborhoods in Oakland Park. They later reached a Lauderdale Lakes business, abandoned the car while the vehicle was in drive mode, and ran toward a nearby apartment complex.
Two teens exited the complex and jumped into a parked SUV that, police said, they had planted there. Another police chase ensued; it ended with the teens surrendering to police near Northwest 24th Court and 47th Avenue in Lauderhill.
The remaining teens stayed inside the Lauderdale Lakes complex. They were later arrested by police after a perimeter was established in the neighborhood.
Police said the four are wanted for several crimes in Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties.
Dontavious and Maurice are being held for five days in contempt of court. They will then spend 21 days at the Juvenile Detention Center. Malik was released to home detention. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office was in the process of filling additional charges Wednesday afternoon.