Prankster locks OHS students in rooms

OKEECHOBEE — A school resource officer is seeking the identity of the person or persons who used zip ties to secure entrance doors together on a couple of buildings at Okeechobee High School (OHS).

Deputy Donnie Holmes, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), said the prank presented a danger in that it was carried out during school hours and there were students inside the buildings at the time.

He said someone tied the east side, double-entrance doors to the math building shut during third hour — 9:10 until 10 a.m. — Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Then, on the following day, the prankster or pranksters struck again by tying the double entrance doors on the west side of Building 5 together.

According to the deputy’s report school officials were concerned that “… if any of the doors are zip tied shut and an emergency happens the students and staff will not be able to get out.”

Even though the prank was carried out during school hours, the deputy said it was done in areas where there are no surveillance cameras.

“On Oct. 27, during third hour, we went into different classes and watched all of the entrance doors to building 5 and building 7. At no time did anyone go to the entrance doors and zip tie them together,” stated the deputy in his report.

Deputy Holmes described the ties as big, black ties like the ones used in air conditioning work.

“You can’t break them. You have to cut them,” he said, in a Monday, Oct. 31, interview.

The OCSO deputy said his investigation is continuing, and if anyone has information concerning this case they are asked to call him at 863-462-5025.

He explained he has discussed this case with the state attorney’s office and was told the perpetrator could be arrested on a felony charge of false imprisonment.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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