Florida principal arrested, accused of hitting child with charging cable

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Florida principal arrested, accused of hitting child with charging cable

The principal of a central Florida elementary school was arrested this week and accused of holding a child in a room for 40 minutes, putting him in a chokehold and hitting him with a charging cable.

Dontay Akeem Prophet, 33, who had been principal of Destiny Leadership Academy in Ocala, was arrested Saturday on charges of aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said.

Prophet has since been fired, the private school told NBC affiliate WESH of Orlando.

Destiny Leadership Academy in Ocala, Fla.
Destiny Leadership Academy in Ocala, Fla.Google Maps

Prophet has pleaded not guilty, court records show.

A judge denied a motion to have him held in pretrial detention Tuesday, and bond was set at $50,000, according to the records.

Prophet was in custody Wednesday night, jail records showed.

According to the sheriff’s office, Prophet claimed he confined the child to prevent harm to him, which investigators do not believe.

He told investigators that he was afraid to let the boy leave the classroom because he indicated he would hurt himself, WESH reported. Sheriff’s spokesperson Valerie Strong told the station that Prophet “started touching the child and pushing on him, and it turned into where he started to physically abuse the child.”

The sheriff’s office alleged that security video showed Prophet preventing the boy from leaving the classroom for around 40 minutes and that Prophet slapped him, put him in a chokehold and beat him with a charging cable.

Prophet’s attorney declined to comment.



Phil Helsel

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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