Teen killed protecting sibling in Charlotte Co. death investigation, suspect arrested
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into the death of a juvenile in Port Charlotte Thursday.
According to CCSO, deputies responded to a call about reports of a suspicious male who was injured in the area of Olean Boulevard.
The man, later identified as 27-year-old Ryan Clayton Cole of Port Charlotte, was said to have been seen running through a neighborhood bleeding and holding a knife. He was brought into custody by deputies and taken to Lee Memorial Hospital to be treated.
The crime scene became a death investigation after Cole was taken to the hospital. His condition remains unknown.
Detectives were investigating along Starlite Lane and Inman Court north of Olean Blvd.
CCSO says there had been reports of a string of burglaries in the area and Cole was identified at the scene.
Deputies were responding to the area when they saw Cole run behind a residence on Starlight Lane, crossing the canal towards Conway Blvd.
At that time, an additional 911 call came in from a residence on Conway. The caller said an unknown male had entered his home. Deputies responded to the residence where they found Cole. After a short foot pursuit, they were able to take him into custody.
During a canvas of the area, it was discovered an additional robbery had occurred on Starlite Lane. A doorway inside one residence had been entered by force. Inside, deputies found a teenager and a young child.
Deputies say a violent encounter had ensued, and the teen was trying to protect their sibling. The teenager succumbed to their injuries. The child is said to be okay at this time.
Deputies believe this incident is where Cole received his injuries.
Howard Saks lives right next door to the crime scene. He was at his home when all of the sudden he heard a scream. “Somebody yelled, ‘Help my boy,’ and that was it. They shut down the streets and nobody would say anything.”
He says the incident has forced him to reconsider just how safe his neighborhood is.
“You know i’m to the point now where I guess I’m going to have to get a carrier’s permit,” he said.
The family of the victim is requesting privacy and has asked that the names of their children not be released.
The burglary victim from Conway Blvd. provided a description of Cole and identified him in a photo lineup as the suspect who entered his home.
Cole faces charges for Burglary of an Occupied Dwelling and Petit Theft for the incident on Conway. The Starlite Lane scene is still under investigation for additional charges related to the death investigation.
Cole appeared to have an extensive criminal record, a history of drug use and was on probation.
Deputies say they will be on the scene Friday and Saturday trying to piece together what exactly happened.
Anyone with information can contact the sheriff’s office at 941-639-2101.