Deputies solve mystery of blood found at school

OKEECHOBEE — A 24-year-old male apparently left a trail of blood at Osceola Middle School early Monday morning while searching for a fire alarm.

According to an incident report by Deputy Nathaniel Mitchell, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), at approximately 7:31 a.m. on March 12, a faculty member of Osceola Middle School contacted the sheriff’s office in regards to blood being found throughout the campus.

The faculty member reportedly stated that when they arrived at the school noticed, “there was blood everywhere.” There apparently were bloody footprints and hand prints on many of the doors and a blood trail from the cafeteria to the front office.

Students were about to arrive on campus and the faculty member wanted to ensure the safety of the pupils.

After further examination, it was determined that the blood on the building exteriors were from an incident that was reported at approximately 2:34 a.m. in which Deputies Dan Franklin and Robert Gonzalez responded to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites hotel in regards to a suspicious person complaint.

Upon the arrival of Deputies Franklin and Gonzalez, they saw a white male laying down in the parking lot in front of the hotel, bleeding from both arms. The individual apparently told law enforcement that he had cut himself with a knife in the vicinity of Osceola Middle School. He had apparently wandered around the school unsuccessfully looking for a fire alarm before making his way to the hotel parking lot.

The deputies took the knife from the man and secured it in a patrol vehicle.

The man was observed to have multiple lacerations on both arms. Deputies held direct pressure on the wounds with a shirt and towel in an effort to control the bleeding until Emergency Medical Services arrived. The hotel’s night auditor explained that the man walked up to the hotel, stated that he had cut himself, and fell to the ground. The night auditor provided a towel in an attempt to control the bleeding prior to the arrival of law enforcement.

The wounded individual was transported to Raulerson Hospital for further treatment and evaluation. At the hospital, it was decided to Baker Act the man due to the circumstances and injuries related to the incident.

The man told deputies he was on the campus of Osceola Middle School, attempting to find a fire alarm to pull to get some help. When he could not find the firm alarm, he apparently left the campus and walked towards the hotel.

Deputy Mitchell told school officials the campus was safe and the staff could clean the areas where blood was found. Photographs were taken of the scene and an agency card with case number was provided. The knife was placed into evidence for safekeeping.

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