Two teens arrested at OHS

Two teens were arrested at Okeechobee High School on Tuesday, Oct. 29, after an off-duty Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputy received a video depicting a teen holding a gun inside a vehicle on school property.

Mario Curbelo

Mario Curbelo, 17, Northwest 43rd Avenue, was arrested by OCSO Deputy Donnie Holmes and charged with improper exhibition of a weapon on school property and possession of a weapon on school property. He was transferred to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Richard Ayala, 17, Southwest 10th Avenue, was arrested by Deputy Holmes and charged with possession of a weapon on school property. He was transferred to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Deputy Holmes reportedly received a text message, picture and short video from guidance counselor Tracy Sills, who said she received them via SnapChat and that she did not know who the person in the video was. The picture was a screenshot of the video. When the video was zoomed in on, the arrest report notes, a Hispanic male can be seen sitting in the passenger seat of a black four-door Nissan holding a rifle. A bus is visible in the background, and there is a street sign reading Lots C-D-E in the picture.

Richard Ayala

It did not take him long to figure out who normally drove the vehicle in the video, and he spoke to Richard Ayala about the incident. Richard reportedly told him the gun was a BB gun and that it was at home. After searching the vehicle and finding nothing, Deputy Holmes asked him who was holding the gun in the picture and then took him to the dean’s office until they had everything straightened out.

They found Mario Curbelo in the school’s computer lab, and got him out of class. Richard reportedly identified him as the boy holding the gun. The gun was retrieved from Richard’s home.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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