Osceola County deputies cracking down on dangerous house parties

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says deputies arrested more than a dozen people over the weekend as they crackdown on big parties at vacation rentals.  

Investigators say they began breaking up massive gatherings at the start of the pandemic and then things quieted down for a bit.

“But suddenly the last few weeks, we’ve seen an increase in parties,” said Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Major Jacob Ruiz.

Some of those parties are turning dangerous.

Earlier this month, deputies say a girl was shot in the back and people’s cars and homes were sprayed with bullets at a party at the Windsor at Westside subdivision.

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“One bullet reportedly flew over into a home where somebody was staying on vacation six inches from crib where a baby was sleeping,” Ruiz said.

He added that it appears many of these parties are coordinated by promoters who make money off attendance. The venues are typically large vacation homes in the western part of the county.  

The Sheriff’s Office launched saturation patrols over the weekend. Ruiz says investigators are searching social media to find out where the parties are happening ahead of time and then sending deputies in advance.  

The Sheriff’s Office says 15 people were arrested on a range of charges.   

“It’s been proven that it brings in a criminal element to our community,” he told FOX 35 News.

Osceola Couty sheriff's deputies say people are coming from all over Florida and even out of state to attend these parties but deputies are promising to continue the patrols – especially on Halloween.