Florida Youth Academy Kids Riot Over Cup Noodles
Violence erupted at a rural correctional youth academy on Saturday night over a lost bet, two basketball teams and three Cup Noodles.
"It was a full blown riot," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told ABC. "I watched them throw objects at us and our deputies. I watched them break windows."
The trouble started around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday at Polk County's Avon Park Youth Academy, which houses juvenile delinquents from throughout Florida.
Two teams from St. Petersburg and Orlando had squared off on the basketball court with a wager of three Cup Noodles for the winners. When St. Pete's squad lost and refused to pony up, ABC reports, the violence exploded.
About 150 officers eventually responded to the scene to help the academy's nighttime security staff. The academy is owned by the state but run by private contractor G4S, whose 19 unarmed employees were overrun by the kids. Although G4S provides security for 90 percent of the nuclear facilities in the U.S., it took hours for them to corral an unruly mob of 64 children angry and desperate for sodium.
That window of time was enough for a dumpster fire and for one that destroyed an inmate records room. In the end, the riot resulted in eight injuries and hundred of thousands of dollars in property damage. Notably, for hundred of thousands of dollars, one could buy hundreds of thousands of Cup Noodles.
By midnight, when the violence was quelled, at least 90 percent of the facility had been heavily damaged, according to a spokesperson with the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.