Florida high school principal accused of keying car in Publix parking lot
ST. CLOUD, Fla. – The principal of St. Cloud High School has been arrested after he was allegedly caught on camera locking someone else’s car in a Publix lot.
Nathaniel Fancher was arrested for criminal mischief.
According to an affidavit accompanying the charge, police were called to the Publix at 4401 13th Street in St. Cloud on Jan. 26 and spoke to the victim, who said their car was keyed while they were in the store. The manager provided security video that allegedly showed the suspect damaging the car.
“They returned to their car and found that a deep gouge had been etched into the side of their vehicle, almost the entire span of the vehicle,” said Andrew Sullivan of the St. Cloud Police Department.
According to the arrest report, the video shows the 48-year-old headmaster wearing a black jacket and tan trousers. Investigators said he switched his grocery bag from his left hand to his right. As he walks past the passenger side of a black Toyota Forerunner, his left arm drags behind his body, they said, and then police said he “appears” to have keyed the vehicle.
“We haven’t received word on a possible motive,” Sullivan added.
Police said they were able to trace security video back into the store and identified Fancher as a suspect.
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St. Cloud Police spoke to Fancher over the phone and said they needed to speak to him about what happened at Publix a few days earlier, prompting Fancher reportedly to ask, “Is it about the car?” When they said yes, Fancher asked According to reports, whether he has been arrested.
Fancher then stated he was in New York and would be back in town on January 31.
The affidavit accompanying the indictment further states that on January 31, Fancher contacted the police and asked if there was a way to contact the victim and pay for the damage. He also reportedly asked if he could avoid arrest or a mug shot. The material damage to the victim’s vehicle was around 3,700 euros.
“It doesn’t matter what your status or job title is, if you commit a crime in the city of St. Cloud, you will be held accountable,” Sullivan said.
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Fancher reportedly contacted the school resource officer at St. Cloud High School, where he is the principal, and admitted to putting keys on the car, then asked, “How much trouble am I in?” Police then met with Fancher and after being questioned, he was arrested.
The school district said a message was sent to parents notifying them of the arrest, adding that Fancher will be on administrative leave pending the completion of the police investigation. Many St. Cloud residents we spoke to expressed surprise, but described Fancher as a good principal who made a mistake.
“He was a blessing to this school. Both of my grandkids go there and they excelled with him,” said Angela White. “Any time I had a problem, he was there for us. He’s a great man.
We have asked Fancher for a comment and are waiting for a response.