winter-haven-w help-circle

News Releases

Filing False Police Report

Posted May 25th, 2016

WINTER HAVEN – This is an update regarding the lockdown that occurred at Winter Haven High School this morning.

Student – 17 year-old Hunter Elias Maya (DOB 8-3-98, LNA 927 Drexel Ave., NE, Winter Haven)

(The student is being charged with: Convey/Cause False Report – (M1) and Disrupting A School Function – (M2) HE was taken to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center

On 5-25-16 at approximately 10:56 a.m., a call was received by the front office at Winter Haven High School that a student reported seeing someone in a stairwell with a gun. The student told the person on answering the phone that a black male wearing a hoodie approached him inside of a stairwell and lifted his shirt exposing a handgun in his waistband. The student stated he (student) ran from the building and off campus to his home, which is a short distance from the school. He called his parent and then the incident was reported to the school, who in turn notified law enforcement. Police made contact with the student and his father at the school.

The school was immediately placed on lockdown and Winter Haven Police along with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Polk County Safe Schools responded and were on campus within one minute of the call. Officials began canvassing the school ensuring all students, faculty and administrators were safe and accounted for. Simultaneously, officers were searching the perimeter of the school as well as the whole campus for the reported suspect based on the description given by the student. (Additional schools, including Denison Middle School, Brigham Academy, Grace Lutheran School and numerous day cares within the area were placed on heightened security as a precaution.)

As the search of the school was continuing, the student who called in the report was being interviewed. Also, school officials and law enforcement were reviewing video of the stairwell where the student stated the incident occurred. The student is never seen inside of the stairwell during an extended timeframe prior to the supposed incident. During this time he was being interviewed, the student admitted that he lied and made the story up. He stated that there was nobody who neither approached him nor showed any weapon to him.

The school was immediately taken off lockdown (12:06 p.m.) and all neighboring schools and daycares were taken off their heightened security.

At this time, the student is in custody and charges will be detailed after further specific details are received regarding the incident.