Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Several teenagers arrested in senior prank at Osceola High School in Largo

LARGO — For the second time this week, authorities descended on a high school in the wee hours of the morning to stop a crime, only to discover something far less sinister:

A senior prank.

But in this case, unlike the previous incident at Plant High School in Tampa, several teenagers were arrested. They were all handcuffed and eventually booked.

Just after 1 a.m. Wednesday, campus police heard voices inside Osceola High School and called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Ten deputies, three police dogs and a helicopter — to protect the deputies — responded to the high school at 9751 98th St. N. As deputies arrived on campus, the group of teenagers scattered, said Pinellas Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Tom Nestor.

Deputies said the teenagers, most of whom are students at Osceola, planned to line the schools' hallways with 4,000 styrofoam cups filled with water. Deputies said they entered the school with a key.

The teenagers didn't get very far — deputies chased them down.

At least seven teenagers — including two juveniles — were arrested and charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor. Deputies said there were more people involved.

"They could have been charged with felonies," said Nestor. "But when they [deputies] got down to the bottom of it and realized it was a school prank...they charged them with misdemeanors."

It's up to the state attorney's office to decide whether to prosecute.

The school is investigating the prank and whether there will be any consequences, such as preventing the students from walking at graduation, said Pinellas County School District spokeswoman Andrea Zahn.

The Osceola prank comes after a similar senior prank on Monday.

Twenty Plant High School seniors had begun "Saran wrapping" the high school campus. The students also had dead fish, which they planned to wrap into the plastic.

A little after midnight, Tampa police responded with a show of force — nearly a dozen officers and a helicopter.

Police detained sixteen Plant High students until parents came to retrieve them. The students likely won't be punished because there was no damage to the school, said Linda Cobbe, the Hillsborough school district spokeswoman. The students did not actually go inside the school.

Nestor said Pinellas County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the incident as if it were a felony burglary in progress.

Something bad could have happened.

A deputy could have been struck as he or she was responding to the call, a dog could have bitten one of the kids, or deputies may have been prevented from responding to a more urgent crime.

"It's like pulling the fire alarm when there's no fire," he said.

Several teenagers arrested in senior prank at Osceola High School in Largo 05/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 7:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The next step in a sex abuse survivor's recovery: Erasing her tattoo


    Times Staff Writer

    TAMPA — Even after 20 years, Sufiyah can't escape the memories of being sexually exploited by gang members as a teenager.

    The tattoo makes it impossible.

    Sufiyah, an aAbuse survivor, prepares to have a tattoo removed  at Tampa Tattoo Vanish  on Thursday. During her teen years, she was sexually exploited by a gang. The tattoo is a mark of her exploiters. 

Tampa Tattoo Vanish is a new tattoo removal business run by Brian Morrison, where survivors of human trafficking get free tattoo removal.  [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  2. Cridlin: Linkin Park's Chester Bennington had a wail that stood apart

    Music & Concerts

    For all the old-timers' talk about how they don't make singers like they used to, about how rock vocalists of the 21st century can't hold a candle to the frontmen of yesteryear, here's a fact no hater could deny:

    Chester Bennington could flat-out wail.

    Chester Bennington of Linkin Park  performs at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa for the 2014 Carnivores Tour. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Police investigating shooting in north Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Police were investigating a shooting in north Tampa Thursday that left one person seriously injured.

  4. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board


    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  5. Team begins work to exhume Salvador Dali's body for paternity test


    FIGUERES, Spain — A forensic team on Thursday entered the Salvador Dali museum in northeastern Spain where the surrealist artist's remains are due to be exhumed to settle a paternity claim brought by a 61- year-old woman.

    Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, presents his first Chrono-Hologram in Paris, France, in 1973. Work has begun to exhume his body for a parternity test. Dali, considered one of the fathers of surrealism in art, died in 1989 and is buried in his museum in the northeastern town of Figueres. [Associated Press]