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OCSO: Riot at Everglades Youth Academy Over the Weekend

Everglades Youth Academy.jpeg

Okeechobee County - Tuesday January 24, 2023: Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a riot in progress at the Everglades Youth Academy over the weekend.

It happened during the morning hours of Saturday, January 21. The Academy is located at 5050 NE 168th St, Okeechobee.

According to a release from the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office, two pods, Units 6 & 7, were actively rioting, fighting staff, causing damage by throwing desks and chairs, and tearing down the cameras and light fixtures. Upon arrival, units established a secured perimeter and law enforcement entered the compound, and all youth detainees were placed inside their secured rooms.

Written statements were collected from all staff involved, and the involved rioters were identified by staff members, separated by law enforcement, and arrested. One suspect resisted law enforcement while being detained, and a chemical agent was used to assist in his arrest.

Ten detainees were arrested for various charges ranging from rioting to battery on staff and transported to the Okeechobee County Jail. Those arrested will be held without bond, two of the juveniles were later transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

One staff member from the Everglades Youth Academy was transported due to their injuries, while others were treated on scene and released.

The Everglades Youth Academy riot occurred at the same time that a similar riot was reported Saturday by the Martin County Sheriff's Office at the Sandy Pines Treatment Center in Jupiter.