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Two Reformatory Officials Killed, Teen Freed in Ambush

January 16, 1992

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ An armed gang ambushed a reformatory car on a rural road, killing the driver and a guard and freeing the teen-age offender they had in custody, police said Wednesday.

But the attackers apparently freed the wrong youth, authorities said.

Guard Jose Lopez, 26, and driver Elias Montalvo, 53, both died of gunshot wounds to the head in the Tuesday evening attack outside the northeastern town of Canovanas, a police spokesman said.

They were both unarmed, in compliance with reformatory rules that bar guards from carrying guns.

They were driving a 16-year-old back to the reformatory in the southeastern city of Humacao, after a juvenile court hearing in the city of Carolinas on a weapons violation charge. The youth left with the ambushers, police said.

According to the director of the island’s Juvenile Institutions Adminstration, Mercedes Cintron, authorities believe the gang thought a 17- year-old youth was in the car.

But the 17-year-old, charged with bank robbery and other offenses Tuesday, was held behind after his hearing in Carolinas because ″information arose that an attempt to free him might be made,″ Mrs. Cintron said.

The names of the youths weren’t released.

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