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Sixty-one Florida juveniles charged with felonies after Ramen Noodle riot at detention center

Sixty-one Florida juveniles charged with felonies after Ramen Noodle riot at detention center

By Your Black World

    61-FLORIDA-JUVENILES Authorities in Polk County, Fla. have charged 61 juveniles with felonies for their part in a riot which occurred on Aug. 17, 2013 at Avon Park Youth Academy.

The riot began after a disagreement over a cup of ramen noodles resulted in $350,000 in damage to the center, according to TheLedger.com. Two opposing basketball teams placed a bet and the losing team was supposed to give the winning team a cup of noodles. When the losing team didn’t offer up the noodles, a brawl led to a riot.

Juveniles are being charged with arson, burglary and rioting. Authorities, say once the rioting began, the juveniles began trashing the facility, even going so far as to set dumpsters on fire. Police report that all 138 of the juveniles were involved in the riot and some of them stole golf carts at the facility and drove them around while throwing objects at police officers.

Sheriff Grady Judd places part of the blame for the extent of the riot on the state for not adequately equipping its privately contracted employees. A private company called G4s runs the facility for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

“By Department of Juvenile Justice’s rule, the G4S employees are not allowed to have any specialty equipment, including pepper spray, which would have allowed them to deal with the fight before it escalated into a riot,” Judd said.

Once the workers at the juvenile facility lost control, they called 911. Officers responded with dogs, riot gear. Judd said “hardcore thugs” were mixed in with lesser offenders and workers at the center didn’t have the tools to separate them.

“They had no infrastructure to immediately bring the initial fight under control and to segregate them from the population that was not in the fight at that particular time,” said Judd.

This is not the first reported ‘riot’ at a Florida juvenile facility, though. Disturbing surveillance video obtained from the Citrus Health System treatment center for mentally disturbed adolescents shows a police officer punching a disabled girl squarely in the jaw. This riot reportedly occurred in April.

The riot at Avon should raise questions of whether private contractors should be allowed to take over government roles, which include both juvenile facilities and adult prison facilities.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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