Phil Trexler

A teenager accused with three others of kidnapping and robbing a Highland Square woman was apprehended Monday, a day after escaping from the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center.

Ja’Relle J. Smith, 17, was taken into custody about 7 p.m. Akron police said family members arranged his surrender, but once Smith arrived at the facility, he tried to flee again.

Akron officers captured Smith near the Dan Street facility and he was taken into custody after more than 24 hours on the lam, according to Detective James Pasheilich.

Smith had been held since January on multiple charges of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and aggravated burglary until he walked away from the Dan Street juvenile facility Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

Aside from the Highland Square robbery, Smith is also a suspect in two other kidnappings and robberies, including one involving an elderly woman. Smith’s case had been bound over for prosecution as an adult, police said.

Don Ursetti, a spokesman for the detention center, declined Monday to provide any details on the escape other than to say it is being investigated by Akron police and county sheriff’s deputies. An internal investigation is also being conducted, Ursetti said.

Neither Akron police nor sheriff’s deputies could provide details of the escape.

Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli said all the victims were notified of the escape. At the time, he said Smith should be considered dangerous and was possibly armed.

Smith and three others are accused of kidnaping a 44-year-old woman at gunpoint outside her North Highland Avenue home Dec. 22. The woman told police she was confronted by four males outside her home and that they forced her into her SUV.

She said she was then driven to an ATM, where she withdrew money on demand. The robbers stole her jewelry before releasing her unharmed after about 40 minutes, she said.

Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com.