Teen who got trapped in bank vault charged with trespassing

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A teen who was rescued after getting trapped inside an abandoned bank vault in Hollywood has been charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

At the teen’s first court appearance on Friday, the judge called the teen, not by his name, but by what police said he and his friend did Wednesday afternoon.

“Where’s the one who was in that bank vault, allegedly? Where is he at?” said the judge.

Hollywood Police said the teen was surprised he was under arrest, whereas his parents expressed concern.

According to an arrest affidavit for the teen, the boy and his friend wandered onto the property, ignoring the fencing and several “no trespassing” signs before they entered the abandoned building in the area of South State Road 7 and Washington Street to see what was inside.

The teen and his friend then stumbled across an old bank vault and walked inside. The teen went inside and started pressing buttons, causing the vault door to close.

“They didn’t know that the vault was still active, played inside the vault. One of them got trapped inside,” said Hollywood Police Officer Christian Lata. “Luckily, the other one was outside and was able to call 911.”

An audio recording of the call captured the frantic conversation between the teen’s friend and the operator.

“Me and my friend are in an abandoned bank, and the vault closed on him and trapped him here,” said the friend.

“How’s he doing?” the operator responded.

“He’s panicking.”

“How old is he?”

“Seventeen.”

(Yelling to the teen in the vault) “The most priority is getting you out. We’re gonna get you out, OK?”

According to the arrest affidavit, the teen and his friend “entered the abandoned bank vault because they ‘were bored’ and wanted something to do.”

Hours later, first responders and two Bank of America employees responded. The employees happened to know the vault’s combination and were able to get the vault open.

“We’re just happy that he learned something today and that everyone came out safe,” said Lata.

The judge sentenced the teen to three weeks of house arrest.

“I need you to stay home for 21 days. Work, church and school and home. Do you understand?” said the judge.

“Yes, sir,” replied the teen.

He was on probation for a previous arrest when he committed this act.

The teen’s friend was not arrested, but police said charges could be pending.

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