61 charged in Avon Park youth riot - WNCN: News, Weather

61 charged in Avon Park youth riot

Posted: Updated:
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The Polk County Sheriff's Office has completed its investigation into the riot at Avon Park Youth Academy and charged 61 male residents of the juvenile detention facility.

The individuals, who are 16-18 years old, are all facing felony charges stemming from the August 17 incident authorities say was prompted by a wager over a basketball game. The teams of residents at the facility were playing for cups of noodle soup, but the losing team didn't pay up, the sheriff's office said.

At a minimum, each of the 61 charged faces rioting and felony mischief charges, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference on Friday. Other charges include burglary and grand theft.

"These 61 aren't misguided children," Judd said. "These 61 are hard core thugs that were incarcerated by the DJJ."

Judd also said the riot was preventable, if staff had been able to have equipment such as pepper spray to get offenders under control. DJJ does not allow those items to be used at juvenile facilities, but Judd said that means those operating the facility had "no tools to deal with out of control thugs."

DJJ does not plan to revisit the issue of allowing pepper spray or chemical restraints, said DJJ spokeswoman Meghan Speakes. DJJ is planning to install security cameras at Avon Park Youth Academy, she said.

DJJ is doing its own investigation and has been interviewing staff at the facility, she said. The next step is to interview the teenagers who were there.

In a written statement released after the arrests were announced, DJJ Secretary Wansley Walters said "DJJ is committed to taking the lessons learned from the incident at Avon Park Youth Academy to ensure that the youth we serve are provided the right services, in the right place, in the right way, at the right time in order to fulfill our mission of reducing juvenile delinquency and increasing public safety."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    How to find out if sinkholes are in your neighborhood

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:43:25 GMT
    A 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photoA 2004 sinkhole in Deltona was four lanes wide. Associated Press file photo
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
    Wondering if there are sinkholes in your neighborhood? Or, are you purchasing a home and want to know about sinkhole activity in the area?
  • Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Flood insurance refunds issued beginning Oct. 1

    Monday, July 21 2014 3:59 PM EDT2014-07-21 19:59:42 GMT
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
    Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning October 1, 2014.
  • Code Violators Skate in Hillsborough County

    Code Violators Skate in Hillsborough County

    Friday, July 18 2014 9:53 PM EDT2014-07-19 01:53:50 GMT
    If you want to let junk and trash pile up in your yard you can get away with it in Hillsborough county. 66 year old Brenda Owings has.She owns a property at 14508 Berkford Avenue in Citrus Park.Junk, trash and debris litter the lot from one end to the other. Neighbors have put up with the mess for 17 years."It's not a good situation, it needs to go," neighbor Larry Calder complained.County Code Enforcement can't make Owings do a thing at her property. Owings claims she lives in a house that's...
    If you want to let junk and trash pile up in your yard you can get away with it in Hillsborough county. 66 year old Brenda Owings has.She owns a property at 14508 Berkford Avenue in Citrus Park.Junk, trash and debris litter the lot from one end to the other. Neighbors have put up with the mess for 17 years."It's not a good situation, it needs to go," neighbor Larry Calder complained.County Code Enforcement can't make Owings do a thing at her property. Owings claims she lives in a house that's...
  • NewsMore>>

  • Family of 4-year-old boy killed on a Tampa street speaks out

    Family of 4-year-old boy killed on a Tampa street speaks out

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:36 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:36:45 GMT
    Marterrance AlburyMarterrance Albury
    "He's bad but he's a sweet bad. You know kids get into stuff and if he got into something, he would crawl up under the table and hide when he knows he is about to get in trouble,” said Williams as she remember her grandson Marterrance Albury who was killed Sunday
    "He's bad but he's a sweet bad. You know kids get into stuff and if he got into something, he would crawl up under the table and hide when he knows he is about to get in trouble,” said Williams as she remember her grandson Marterrance Albury who was killed Sunday
  • Tampa Police now question if boy rolled from SUV

    Tampa Police now question if boy rolled from SUV

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:18:48 GMT
    Tampa Police are investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night.Tampa Police are investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night.
    Tampa Police are investigating the tragic death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night. Marterrance Albury died at St. Joseph's Hospital on Monday morning.
    Tampa Police are investigating the tragic death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night. Marterrance Albury died at St. Joseph's Hospital on Monday morning.
  • New St. Petersburg Police Chief is Anthony Holloway

    New St. Petersburg Police Chief is Anthony Holloway

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:54 PM EDT2014-07-22 01:54:00 GMT
    Clearwater Police Chief, Anthony HollowayClearwater Police Chief, Anthony Holloway
    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman will announce the new St. Petersburg Police Chief on Tuesday.
    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman will announce the new St. Petersburg Police Chief on Tuesday.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Tampa Police now question if boy rolled from SUV

    Tampa Police now question if boy rolled from SUV

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:18 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:18:48 GMT
    Tampa Police are investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night.Tampa Police are investigating the death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night.
    Tampa Police are investigating the tragic death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night. Marterrance Albury died at St. Joseph's Hospital on Monday morning.
    Tampa Police are investigating the tragic death of a 4-year-old boy who was found critically injured, sprawled on a Tampa road on Sunday night. Marterrance Albury died at St. Joseph's Hospital on Monday morning.
  • Family of 4-year-old boy killed on a Tampa street speaks out

    Family of 4-year-old boy killed on a Tampa street speaks out

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:36 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:36:45 GMT
    Marterrance AlburyMarterrance Albury
    "He's bad but he's a sweet bad. You know kids get into stuff and if he got into something, he would crawl up under the table and hide when he knows he is about to get in trouble,” said Williams as she remember her grandson Marterrance Albury who was killed Sunday
    "He's bad but he's a sweet bad. You know kids get into stuff and if he got into something, he would crawl up under the table and hide when he knows he is about to get in trouble,” said Williams as she remember her grandson Marterrance Albury who was killed Sunday
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.