Department of Juvenile Justice officials visit Avon Park Youth Academy following riot

10:06 AM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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AVON PARK, Florida (AP/WTSP) - Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters and Inspector General Robert Munson are planning to tour a juvenile detention facility in central Florida where a riot broke out over the weekend.

They're scheduled to visit Avon Park Youth Academy on Tuesday for a tour and assessment of the facility following the Saturday night incident.

The Ledger of Lakeland reports the Polk County Sheriff's Office and multiple agencies responded to with riot gear, tear gas and pepper spray, They believe the riot started over a basketball game wager of three cups of ramen. Eight youths were injured and 18 buildings were damaged. No staffers were hurt.

Meanwhile, deputies have made their first arrest in connection to the weekend riot. Charles Kenneth Smith, 17, is charged with one count of rioting, one count of burglary, one count of grand theft and one count of introduction of contraband into a detention facility. All are felonies.

According to his arrest affidavit, Smith broke into a medical building during the riot and stole prescription medication, which was later found in his dorm room. Investigators say he also stole a security walkie-talkie, which he used to shout profanity into during the riot.

Smith has seven prior felony charges out of Jacksonville, including resisting arrest with violence, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of paraphernalia and loitering/prowling.

According to its website, the Avon Park Youth Academy is a 144-bed moderate-risk program for males in the juvenile justice system between the ages of 16 and 19-years-old.

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