POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A group of teens who went to a boy’s house to confront and fight him due to an ongoing romantic dispute ended up intentionally running over the boy’s mother, causing severe injuries, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Records show 18-year-old Elijah Stansell went to the victim’s home in Polk City around 2:50 p.m. Monday, along with 16-year-old Raven Sutton, 15-year-old Kimberly Stone and 14-year-old Hannah Eubank, to confront him.
Deputies said in a news release that the dispute was romantic in nature but further details about the argument weren’t immediately available.
According to the affidavit, the victim and Stone had been arguing on social media and the girl made threats to “hit” the victim and to have her new boyfriend “handle it.”
Deputies said Stone provided directions to the boy’s home but stayed in the van while Stansell and the other two teens knocked on the victim’s door. When the victim opened a side door at the carport to see who it was, records show Stansell and Sutton attacked him while Eubank recorded the incident on her cellphone.
The victim tried to get inside his home to escape the attack but Stansell and Sutton followed him inside, records show.
It was about at that time that the victim’s mother arrived home with her other son, and the three suspects ran back to their van, according to authorities.
Deputies said the woman was in the roadway taking pictures of the van and its license plate and although Stansell had enough room to maneuver around her, he intentionally ran her over and then fled the scene.
Records show the woman suffered a traumatic brain injury involving a severe brain bleed and skull fracture, a broken leg, a ligament injury to her left knee and she was aspirating fluid into her lungs. She’s unresponsive and intubated in critical condition in the intensive care unit.
“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,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
Eye witnesses and surveillance video helped deputies quickly locate the teenage suspects, officials said.
One of those witnesses was a Polk County utilities employee who followed the van in his government truck for about five minutes, providing a 911 operator with key information including the license plate number and the van’s direction.
“I’m following a van -- you probably just got a phone call -- I’m following a van that just ran this lady over,” he said.
He claimed the driver wasn’t speeding or running red lights and probably wasn’t aware that he was being followed.
“I’m trying to stay back, I don’t know if they have a gun or what but they just mowed that poor lady down,” he said.
The six-minute call ended once authorities were able to pull over the van.
“I do appreciate your help. My gosh, made a difference,” the operator told the man.
Stansell is facing charges of attempted felony murder, burglary with assault and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He’s also facing a charge of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor in connection with an incident that was discovered after his arrest.
The three other teens are facing charges of attempted felony murder and burglary with assault.