Four teenagers in Florida have been arrested and charged with attempted murder after a romantic dispute led them to physically attack another teen and then purposely run over his mother with a van as they made their escape, according to authorities.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9 in Polk City, Florida, when deputies were called to a residential home and found an adult victim critically injured after being run over by a van, Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
During the ensuing investigation, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office learned that the oldest teenager – 18-year-old Elijah Stansell – had brought three of his female friends with him -- 16-year-old Raven Sutton, 15-year-old Kimberly Stone, and 14-year-old Hannah Eubank – to confront an unnamed boy regarding an ongoing romantic dispute he had with him, the details of which have not yet been disclosed by the police.
Stansell, Sutton, Stone and Eubank are all reportedly from the Winter Haven and Auburndale areas, just south of Polk City, where the attack happened, and east of Tampa.
“The suspects banged on the victim's front door, but the victim came out of the side door and into the carport to see who was there,” said Polk County Sheriff’s Department in a statement. “The group of suspects ran to the carport, where Stansell physically attacked him. The victim retreated into his home, followed by Stansell and Sutton. At that time, the victim's mom came home, and the suspects ran off.”
Authorities then say that the victim’s mother followed the four teens and began to take pictures of the suspects and the van with her cell phone as they were getting into the vehicle to make their escape.
Police say that Stansell then intentionally ran into the woman and then over her, even though there was plenty of room for him to drive away without doing so, according to witnesses at the scene of the crime.
“There were several eyewitnesses to the crime, along with home surveillance videos,” said Polk County Sheriff’s Department. “The video footage shows the suspect approaching the front door, the group of suspects going around to the side and attacking the victim, the attack inside the home, the suspects fleeing, and the suspects running over the victim's mother.”
Auburndale Police Officers quickly located the vehicle that was used in the attack and all four teenagers were arrested.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that the four suspects were subsequently interviewed by detectives and that all four admitted to confronting the victim involved in the attack at his home, fleeing the scene of the crime as well as being in the vehicle when Stansell intentionally ran over the mother of the victim, although Stone remained in the vehicle during the whole event after she showed the others where the victim lived.
Said Grady Judd, Sheriff of Polk County, Florida: "This was a coordinated, planned attack, carried out by a group of teens who beat up a teen then ran over his mother, leaving her for dead. I can't even fathom teenagers doing something so heinous. Our prayers are with this family."
The mother who was run over is now in very critical condition at a local area hospital.
Stansell has been charged with attempted felony murder, burglary with assault, three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and lewd and lascivious battery on a minor on a victim of 15-years old and has been booked into the Polk County Jail.
Meanwhile, Sutton, Eubank and Stone were all charged with attempted felony murder and burglary with assault and taken to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center for processing.