A dispute over three Cup Noodles containers at a juvenile correction facility in Florida turned into a four-hour riot Saturday night. By the time authorities regained control, eight juveniles had been injured and the facility had sustained “hundreds of thousands of dollars” worth of damage.
The incident started Saturday night when two basketball teams – one made up of kids from Orlando, the other from St. Petersburg — at the Avon Park Youth Academy in Polk County bet three cup of noodles on the result of a pick-up game. When the St. Petersburg team lost, they reportedly refused to pay up.
A fight between the two teams broke out, and soon others joined in. As the conflict grew, the privately-run correctional facility evacuated its entire nighttime staff of 21 because they were not equipped to deal with the conflict. "G4S (the private company in charge of running the prison) employees are not allowed to have any specialty equipment to include pepper spray, which would have allowed them to deal with the fight before it escalated into a riot,” Polk County Sheriff's spokesperson Carrie Eleazer said. The facility also lacks any security cameras.
Without any staff on the property, the fight reportedly escalated into a full-on riot, and 18 of the 20 buildings on the campus were heavily damaged. A building containing the inmates' records was set on fire as was a dumpster.
Eventually, 150 law enforcement officers responded to the scene, and control of the facility was regained shortly after midnight. The juveniles were transported to other prisons in the area, including one housing adults.
Eight juveniles suffered injuries, including one who broke his leg. No staff members or law enforcement officers were hurt. The Polk County Sheriff's Department is investigating the riot and expects to file felony charges against some of the facility's inmates.
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