WARRENTON — A riot at the Oregon Youth Authority ended peacefully Sunday night, after several law enforcement agencies set up staging in the surrounding areas.

At 9:32 p.m. Sunday, Warrenton Police, Oregon State Police and the Warrenton Fire Department, as well as Medix Ambulance Service, responded to the North Coast Youth Correctional Facility on 19th Street for a report of a riot situation.

Jami Ayers, the Oregon Youth Authority interim superintendent, said the incident began just after 9 p.m. when two youths got into a disagreement. The argument escalated and when staff tried to intervene, the youths turned on staff, joined by seven other juveniles. The teens barricaded themselves inside the dorm. There were no weapons or other items used, but some minor property damage to soap dispensers and other small items did occur.

“The nine youths issued challenges and refused to disengage,” Ayers said. “Staff talked them down to calm them and remind them of what choices they had and could make. Staff encouraged the youth not involved to step aside. Eight youths chose to disengage.”

The ninth was eventually talked into going willingly. All nine were lodged at the former Youngs Bay Detention in individual isolation cells.

Warrenton Police Chief Mathew Workman said he was one of an estimated 10 officers who responded to the scene. Medix and the fire department staged in the Costco parking lot in case of an emergency, while police provided assistance to the Oregon Youth Authority and their handling of the situation. Workman said the facility was in the process of performing a lockdown and inmates were being put in isolation when he arrived.

“They were able to talk the juveniles out one-by-one,” Workman said. “No one was hurt, but it was enough of a situation that the OYA decided to call in extra help.”

Ayers said she wished to thank all of the local law enforcement teams who were “absolutely fantastic.”

“We appreciate all the support,” she said.


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