Polk County, FL — Youth offenders apparently went off their noodle Saturday night during a full-blown riot over Ramen.
The Ramen rage rampage lasted about four hours before police got the situation at Florida’s Avon Park Youth Academy under control.
The brawl started after a pickup basketball game at the all-male youth lockup. According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, “There was a group of kids from Orlando and a group from St. Petersburg, and they had bet three packages of Ramen noodles over the game. The Orlando team won; the St. Pete team wouldn’t pay up.” A fight then broke out at about 8:30 pm between the two teams, and others joined in.
The 19 staff members at the facility soon had an all-out riot on their hands, with the more than 100 offenders smashing windows, setting fires, and ransacking buildings. Staff members are not equipped with an “specialty equipment” including even pepper spray.
Calls for help reportedly flooded 911. When the dispatcher told a staffer at the facility that she needed to know how many youths were fighting so she could send the proper number of police units, the staffer responded “Every unit out here. Every unit. The kids are fighting, everybody, everybody.”
It took over 150 cops in full-riot gear to take control and not before the Ramen riot caused of thousands of dollars in damages to 18 buildings at the correctional facility. No one escaped from the compound during the melee, however. About half of the juvenile offenders were later transported to another facility. Some were treated for minor injuries.
The Youth Academy for those ages 16-18 “is under the jurisdiction of the [Florida] Department of Juvenile Justice and is used as a rehabilitation and vocational school for moderate-risk young offenders.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation into the Ramen riot — although there are no surveillance cameras at the facility which could complicate the probe — and expect to file felony charges shortly.