Central High School Teacher Arrested for Felony Battery
Last updated 8/21/2023 at 11:34am
BROOKSVILLE – The Hernando County Sheriff's Office is reporting the arrest of a Central High School teacher, after he allegedly pushed a fellow teacher during an argument.
According to officials, around 7:15 a.m. this morning, the School Resource Deputy at Central High School, Deputy Julio Escoda, was advised of a Battery that had just occurred, between two staff members, on the school campus.
Deputy Escoda responded to the area and met with the victim, a female educator who advised that she was having a conversation with another educator, later identified as the suspect, 50-year-old Michael Anthony DeJesus, in a classroom on the campus. An argument ensued, and the victim alleges that DeJesus yelled at her, "Get the **** out of my room." DeJesus then walked over to the victim, in an aggressive manner, and intentionally pushed the victim (with two hands) in her upper chest area, causing her to step back two to three feet. Two other staff members did witness the incident and have provided sworn statements regarding same. The incident was also captured on security footage from inside the campus.
Prior to Deputy Escoda being notified of the incident, DeJesus left the campus and went home.
Deputies responded to DeJesus' residence to conduct an interview and that's when DeJesus admitted to pushing the victim, stating he was upset with her. Deputies placed DeJesus under arrest for Felony Battery. He has been booked into the Hernando County Detention Center with a bond of $2,000.
The Hernando County School District is conducting their own internal investigation into the matter.
The embattled Hernando County School Superintendent John Stratton immediately posted a video, advising the community of the arrest. Stratton, who is facing a vote of no confidence for what board member Mark Johnson asserts is "lack of leadership," says, "As we have made clear to our students, there will be zero tolerance for this type of behavior on our campuses." Stratton says DeJesus has never exhibited violent behavior in his 25-year career with HCSD. DeJesus has been removed from the classroom during the investigation.