Patrols increased at Sarasota Co. High after rape claim

Deputies stepped up their patrol ahead of tonight's football game at Riverview High School after a string of scary incidents.

In one case, the superintendent says a high school student claimed she was raped just a block from the Sarasota campus when a man entered her parked vehicle at 8 p.m. Oct. 13.

"It is just scary going anywhere now," said Zarina Taborda, who lives only a few houses away from where the student said she was raped.

The rape claim has not been substantiated by deputies, who are still investigating.

But it was followed by a student found with a gun on a school bus and a threat made on snapchat that Riverview would be "lit."

The superintendent says deputies increased their detail for their rivalry football game against Sarasota High School.

Zarina Taborda's mother, Monica, had planned to let her make the block-long walk alone, once she starts at Riverview High School next year.

But no more.

"If she asks me for anything, I just walk her or drive her," said Taborda. "I don't let her go anywhere alone."

The superitendent of Sarasota schools says there was extra security at the game.

Eight deputies generally patrol the campus during a game, but Friday night he says there were thirteen.

"The question that I get is Riverview High School safe for students and I say absolutely, this is a great place for kids, but should we be more aware? Absolutely," said Superintendent Todd Bowden.

Parents we spoke to said the claims were unsettling, but were thankful for the extra attention from deputies.

"I was surprised," said Riverview High School parent Stacy Steindorf. "But my reaction is that they have handled it well. They have really taken extra precautions to make sure the children are safe."

The ongoing investigation into the rape claim is most unsettling for those who on the street it supposedly happened.

They're considering putting up their own surveillance cameras and want more street lights.

"They used to go to Riverview to hang out," said Taborda. "I don't want them to go anymore, if they go, I just walk them anywhere."

Deputies say when it comes to the rape claim, they have exhausted all leads, so if you have any information, you are asked to give them a call.