Two fights that broke out at the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center overnight involved almost three dozen juveniles and sent a boy to a hospital.
- 2 fights — 1 with 30 minors — break out at juvenile detention center
- 1 boy hospitalized with concussion
- Sister of injured boy says fights stem from race tensions
The first fight broke out at about 9 p.m. Sunday and involved three boys, according to authorities.
Then, at 3:30 Monday morning, the Orange County Sheriff's Office got a call that about 30 juveniles were in a major fight. More than 40 deputies were dispatched to monitor the scene around the detention center at 2800 South Bumby Ave. in Orlando.
Law enforcement agencies have not said why they think the fights broke out, but a sister of the boy who was severely hurt says they stemmed from escalating race tensions between black and Hispanic juveniles at the center.
"I knew that once I heard on the news that a child was sent to the hospital, something told me that that was my brother," Lucele Encarnacion said. "My father too — he is 70 years old, and he broke down."
The boy, whose name was not released, was struck on the head so severely that it triggered his seizure disorder, and he was transported to a nearby hospital with a concussion.
The fight at the state-run juvenile detention center has been contained. At least one juvenile injured and taken to hospital. No JDC or OCSO personnel hurt. OCSO PIO will give further details at scene.— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) December 18, 2017
Encarnacion said her brother had only been there for 13 days and was here waiting to be transported to a mental health facility.
She said before the massive fight Monday morning, she told a supervisor about the growing race tensions. Now, she wants to know how the facility plans to protect children, particularly her brother.
"I want him to get out of there, because I want him to be safe and actually get the help he needs," Encarnacion said.
After several requests for comment, a spokesperson for the juvenile detention center only released a statement, which said in part, "The safety and security of the youth in our care is our top priority, and we are currently investigating this matter."
Charges are pending in this case, juvenile detention center authorities said.