Florida Principal, Arrested, Child Abuse, Classroom

Florida Principal Arrested, Charged With Child Abuse In Classroom

Prophet had prior accusations of child abuse and molestation.

Florida principal Dontay Akeem Prophet was arrested May 13 on charges of alleged child abuse and false imprisonment of a child under 13, The Ocala Gazette reports.

The incident allegedly occurred in a classroom at Destiny Leadership Academy in Ocala, Florida, on May 9. The school’s secretary informed its owner, Pastor Lillie Tuggerson, that Prophet seemingly assaulted the child. Tuggerson then called the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MSCO).

When Deputy Ronald Bailey’s arrival at the school, the secretary showed him the over an hour-long surveillance footage. In the video, Prophet was seen placing a male student in a chokehold while grabbing him and holding him down on the floor.

“Prophet can be seen on camera using a charging cable to strike the child, causing the child to fall and sustain injuries,” wrote the MSCO in a press release obtained by the Ocala Gazette. “Additionally, Prophet twisted the child’s ankle, slapped the child in the face, and subjected him to further physical abuse.”

Furthermore, the arrest report detailed a teacher witnessing Prophet attacking the child. The said the educator “slam[med] the victim on the floor and (prevent the victim from) leaving the room.”

However, Prophet claimed he acted in such a way due to the child making suicidal statements. As to why he got on top of the student, Prophet said, according to the report, that “he was scared the victim would leave the school and run into traffic.”

Shortly after the incident, the unidentified victim asked his mother if Prophet called her about what happened. The mother also informed the police that her son was acting unusual.

According to Fox 35, MSCO released body cam footage of Prophet’s arrest, where the educator seemed surprised to find out the camera inside the classroom. Prophet has denied harming the student.

Further investigation also revealed child molestation allegations against Prophet in 2017. However, a prosecutor dropped one of the charges, leading to no conviction. Destiny Leadership Academy released a statement that it fired Prophet.

Prophet remains in the Marion County Jail without bond. His next court date is June 11.