Charges filed in Avon Park juvenile riot - WFLA News Channel 8

Charges filed in Avon Park juvenile riot

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POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A 17-year-old is the first to be charged in connection with a riot at a juvenile justice facility in Avon Park last weekend.

Charles Kenneth Smith faces felony charges of rioting, burglary, grand theft and introducing contraband into a detention facility. 

Related story: 08/18/2013 Juvenile detention center riot under control

Smith was originally scheduled to be released from the facility Tuesday. Instead, he was taken to a juvenile justice facility in Pinellas County.

Polk County authorities say Smith was involved in the riot at Avon Park Youth Academy along with other residents there. The incident prompted residents to be moved out and left damage that included broken windows. Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters is scheduled to tour the facility on Tuesday.

Related story: 08/20/2013 DJJ to get bill for riot response, Polk sheriff says 

During the riot, detectives say Smith had one of the facility's handheld two-way radios and also went into the medical building and stole prescription drugs, which were later found in his dorm room.

Smith denied any involvement with the drug theft and said he found the radio on the ground and used it to talk to a staff member, telling her he had nothing to do with the riot, according to an affidavit.

Detectives are still determining who else will face charges in connection with the riot, which started Saturday evening over what authorities said was a dispute about packages of noodle soup. The teams of residents playing basketball wagered over several packages of soup, and the fight started when the losing team didn't pay up, the sheriff's office said.

"Our detectives will continue to conduct a thorough investigation and ensure that everyone who incited or took part in the riot is appropriately charged," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news release from the sheriff's office. "Charles Smith is just the first of many we anticipate filing felony charges against."

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