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Carjacking teen suspects face Orange County judge

Faith-based community calling on parents, community to help at-risk youth

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The faith-based community is calling on parents and the community to step up and help at-risk teens this summer.

All three teen carjacking suspects -- Jahwaun Rivera, Tracy Mays and Kevin Lenier -- faced a judge Saturday morning.

The 14- and 15-year-olds are accused of carjacking a man at gunpoint Friday at the Esplanade Condos off Rio Grande.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings worries teen violence and crime is only going to get worse, especially over the holiday weekend. He is calling on parents to watch their kids.

"They're out at early-morning hours, after midnight. In my humble opinion, a child of that age who is unsupervised should not be out alone," Demings said.

The teens stood alone in court. Their parents were not with them during their first appearance.

"When a child is left with idle time, without a guardian governing them and giving them rules and support, they're going to be left to make childish decisions," Bishop Kelvin Cobairs with the Impact Church of Orlando said. "That we see now, but as you saw them standing in court alone, that speaks volumes as to why they may be committing those acts of crime."

Cobairs adds while parents need to do their job, it is also up to the community to help at-risk youth.

"They need some guidance, they need along with the parenting, they need some mentoring, they need community support and that's going to take a collective effort," Cobairs said.

Cobairs says it's a group effort between the faith-based community, the government, and social organizations to get results.

"For us to collectively work together to open up these community centers, to open up these other entities that are called community hubs and allow these kids access, not just at certain hours, but during the dark hours when they're attacked to do evil things," Cobairs said.

All three teens will stay behind bars over the long holiday weekend. They will be back in court next week.


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