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‘Why Would He Do That?’: Ex-Florida Elementary School Principal Traps Student In Classroom for Nearly An Hour, Chokes and Beat Him with Cable Cord

A private school principal in Florida has been arrested and charged after he was seen on surveillance video hitting a child with a cable cord and choking him.

Dontay Akeem Prophet has since been fired from his position as principal of Destiny Leadership Academy in Ocala, Florida.

Dontay Akeem Prophet, 33, the former principal of a Florida elementary school, was arrested after being caught on surveillance video choking and hitting a child. (Photos: Marion County Jail, ClickOrlando)

Prophet was arrested on May 11, the day after a reported altercation in which the 33-year-old straddled a child and physically restrained him between his legs, choked him, and struck him in the head with a computer cable cord in a classroom. Officials say Prophet also twisted the child’s ankle and slapped him in the face.

A teacher even reported hearing the student scream during the conflict, according to WESH.

Deputies were called to the school on the day of the incident. Prophet told authorities that the child said he might harm himself, so he tried to stop him from leaving the class. However, authorities said the surveillance footage they obtained discredits Prophet’s claims.

“When our deputy arrived and viewed the surveillance video of this teacher stopping the child from leaving, hitting him, holding him down, putting him in a chokehold until he finally lets him leave the room — it’s heartbreaking,” Valerie Strong with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office told ClickOrlando. “We send our children to school to people who are supposed to teach them and protect them and help them flourish from children into adults.”

Deputies said Prophet prevented the child from leaving the class for 40 minutes. He also wasn’t aware there was a surveillance camera in the classroom recording the altercation.

“I don’t know if you know this or not, but there’s a security camera in that room,” a deputy can be seen telling Prophet in released body-camera footage.

“There is?” Prophet asked.

“Yeah … and it caught everything on camera,” the officer responded. “Everything.”

Prophet was arrested and booked into Marion County Jail without bond. He was charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age.

In 2019, he faced another criminal case involving a child that was eventually dismissed, Fox35 Orlando reports.

That year, Prophet was accused of sexually molesting a child when he was a camp counselor. He was charged with lewd and lascivious molestation of a child and attempting to commit interfering with child custody.

The case remained ongoing until July 2023, when a prosecutor dropped one of the charges, and the court withheld adjudication on the other. So, Prophet faced no conviction.

Administrators at Destiny Leadership Academy haven’t said how he became the school principal.

Dominique Hernandez, a resident who was considering enrolling her younger sibling at Destiny Leadership Academy, said the news turned her off.

“Why would he do that, what was the reasoning? What was going on in their heads to do something like that?” she asked WESH.

His next court date is on June 11.

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