Elementary School Principal Accused of Whipping Student with Charging Cable, Choking and Slapping Him: Police

Dontay Akeem Prophet is charged with aggravated child abuse

<p>Marion County Sheriff

Marion County Sheriff's Office

Dontay Akeem Prophet

An elementary school principal in Florida was charged with child abuse after police say he put a student in a chokehold.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office says in a release that Dontay Akeem Prophet, 33, principal at Destiny Leadership Academy in Ocala, was arrested May 11, one day after officers responded to a report of an altercation at the school.

Deputies say they obtained surveillance footage of the incident, which allegedly showed Prophet not allowing the student to leave a room for 40 minutes.

The footage also allegedly caught the principal grabbing the victim, restraining him on the ground before using a chokehold as well as striking the child with a charging cable, which caused the student to fall and sustain an injury, police say. Deputies also claim that Prophet twisted the student’s ankle and slapped him in the face.

When Prophet was questioned by a responding deputy, he allegedly told the officer that he had been attempting to prevent the child from harm, a claim which police say in the release is “contradicted” by the evidence.

Prophet was charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age.

It is not immediately clear if Prophet has retained an attorney or entered a plea. Jail records indicate that he is being held on $25,000 bond for each count.

WESH reports that the school says they have fired Prophet.

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WCJB, WSVN and Fox 35 report that Prophet was previously accused of molesting a child he met in the summer of 2017, charged with lewd lascivious molestation of a child and an attempt to commit interfering with child custody. He reportedly resigned from a job in a different school district in 2019.

Fox 35 reports that one charge related to that alleged incident was dropped while the court withheld adjudication on another.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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