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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Ocala elementary school principal accused of striking, choking student

An Ocala elementary school principal was arrested over the weekend after he was accused of striking a male student, placing him in a chokehold, and preventing him from leaving a classroom for over 40 minutes.

On Saturday, May 11, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested 33-year-old Dontay Akeem Prophet in connection with an incident that occurred at Destiny Leadership Academy (4790 N U.S. Highway 441 in Ocala).

Dontay Akeem Prophet
Dontay Akeem Prophet, 33, of Ocala

According to the sheriff’s office, an incident involving the principal, Prophet, and a male student occurred on the school campus on Friday, May 10. An MCSO deputy responded to the school and conducted an investigation.

MCSO stated that surveillance footage from one of the school’s classrooms was obtained, which allegedly showed Prophet grabbing the student/victim, restraining him on the ground, and “employing a chokehold” on him.

The arrest report stated that the incident began at around 11:35 a.m. on Friday. The footage showed that the victim had his head down on the table when Prophet approached him from the front. A deputy noted in the report that Prophet then began “poking and grabbing at the victim’s inner thighs,” and the victim fell on the ground while trying to pull away.

Prophet then allegedly sat on top of the victim before placing him in a chokehold. The report stated that Prophet wrapped his legs around the victim in order to prevent him from leaving the classroom.

The deputy noted that the victim attempted to escape from Prophet multiple times, and Prophet allegedly proceeded to pick up the victim before “(pinning) him to the ground.”

Later in the video footage, Prophet was allegedly observed standing in front of the classroom door, which prevented the victim from leaving. The victim attempted to hide under a table, and Prophet allegedly grabbed the victim’s right ankle and twisted it before “(dropping) his knee into the victim’s leg,” according to the report.

The sheriff’s office stated that on the footage, Prophet was also observed slapping the victim in the face, striking the victim with a computer charger, and subjecting the victim to “further physical abuse.”

The victim was finally allowed to leave the classroom at 12:40 p.m., according to the report.

A school employee told the deputy that they heard screaming coming from the classroom, and they saw Prophet “blocking the door and preventing the victim from leaving.” When the victim left the classroom, the employee advised that the victim had a welt on the right side of his face.

A teacher at the school also spoke with the deputy and advised that they saw Prophet slamming the victim on the floor during the incident.

The victim told law enforcement that Prophet “struck him in the head with a computer cord.” The victim also advised that his hips hurt.

The deputy made contact with Prophet. After being read his Miranda rights, Prophet admitted to having a physical altercation with the student inside the classroom, though he claimed that it was due to the victim “making suicidal statements,” according to the report.

Prophet claimed that he held the victim down because he was “scared the victim would leave the school and run into traffic.” He denied harming the victim, though the sheriff’s office stated in a media release that “the evidence clearly contradicted this assertion.”

Prophet was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond. He is being charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment of a child under 13 years of age.

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11, according to jail records.