WINTER HAVEN – Police officers cornered two 16-year-old boys on the roof of a building in downtown Winter Haven Tuesday, July 30, causing quite a stir.
According to the Winter Haven Police Department, the boys were seen attempting to break into cars in a private parking lot at Winter Haven Hospital by hospital security guards. The boys fled from responding officers to the downtown area.
Some responding officers told passersby downtown that the suspects could be armed and to stay clear of the area. The downtown area was disrupted for roughly 45 minutes.
“They scaled the back wall of a Fourth Street NW building through the back alleyway and were running along the roof in an attempt to hide from numerous officers that were in the area,” Winter Haven Police Department spokesperson Jamie Brown said. “The Polk County Sheriff's Office helicopter responded and kept an eye on the air as they attempted to hide on the rooftop.”
From the top of the downtown parking garage looking west, the boys were spotted crawling on the rooftop in an attempt to evade capture. Sun staff alerted a nearby deputy and shortly after, Six/Ten staff helped get first responders on the roof, where one boy climbed down a ladder and surrendered himself. The other boy tried to further evade capture and was later arrested near the library at Central Park.
Officers attempted to see if any of the business owners would file trespassing charges but none did. The teens were arrested on violation of probation charges. One had previously been charged with disorderly conduct and the other for simple assault.
Brown said both were charged with resisting arrest without violence and for loitering and prowling.
The names of the boys were not released.
Contact Charles A. Baker III at email@example.com.