Teacher accused of helping teens at juvenile facility escape

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Michelle Robl is deputy commonwealth’s attorney in Prince William. She is deputy county attorney. This version has been corrected.

A Prince William County teacher is accused of helping four teenagers escape from a Manassas shelter for troubled juveniles where she has taught since 1996, according to county police and school officials.

Timothea Dzan, 53, of the 2900 block of Marsala Court in Woodbridge allegedly told the four how to leave through a door that was not armed with an alarm and how to walk to elude security cameras, said Officer Jonathan Perok, a county police spokesman.

The boy and three girls, ages 14 to 17, were found several hours after the Sept. 8 escape and returned to the Judge Patrick D. Molinari Juvenile Shelter, at 8642 Wellington Rd., authorities said. The youths were found at Balls Ford Road and Ashton Avenue, several miles away from the shelter.

Perok said he did not know what prompted the teacher’s alleged action.

Reached at her home Wednesday evening, Dzan hung up on a reporter seeking comment.

Dzan, an English and social studies teacher, had taught exclusively at the shelter since she was hired by the county school system and was put on paid administrative leave after her arrest Wednesday, said county school spokesman Ken Blackstone. Dzan faces four counts of aiding in the escape of a child and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The non-secure facility houses youths between the ages of 10 and 17 who are awaiting a juvenile-court appearance for incidents ranging from being a runaway to being accused of a crime.

Those who are held after court are housed at a secure detention center, said Michelle Robl, deputy county attorney.

Mary Pat Flaherty works on investigative and long-range stories. Her work has won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.
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