Collier County teacher threatens to kill fellow teacher


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Collier County teacher threatens to kill fellow teacher

By Kelli Stegeman. CREATED Mar 19, 2014

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - A Southwest Florida teacher is now temporarily out of the classroom after allegedly threatening to kill another teacher at school.  

A newly released report explains how the victim felt she was being harassed by the teacher who has been with the Collier County School District for more than 25 years. 
It appears to be two educators in a clash in their personal lives that then brought that clash into school. 
The allegations start in January of this year when a special education teacher at Vineyards Elementary School had her car keyed. 
The victim told deputies she was having problems with fellow employee, 5th grade teacher Craig Leonard.
The friendship turned sour, she says, after he and his wife were in 'debt' with her. 
The woman then decided to wait a few days on whether to file a report. 
A few days later the victim, waiting in her car, saw Leonard back into her car before school. She confronted him and he started yelling profanities. 
Surveillance video, according to deputies, implicates Leonard in both the crimes. 
When questioned he said hitting her car was an accident but he denied keying it. 
The next day the report says Leonard asked to see the surveillance video and then became angry telling deputies the victim was 'crazy' and almost ruined his wife's life.
The deputy says Leonard went on a profanity-laced tirade for several minutes saying he would:
"(Expletive) kill her. I'll (expletive) get a gun and shoot her. I'll (expletive) kill her. I don't care if I go to prison for life, I'll (expletive) kill her."
The report says he then calmed down and went back to his classroom to teach his kids.  
Reporter Kelli Stegeman reached Leonard by phone Wednesday night. He told Stegeman the report doesn't show the whole story and that part of the deputy's report was not accurate. 
As for the gun comment, he says he's never owned or even shot one. 
Leonard says in his entire career of more than 25 years with the district he has nevr had one incident, until now. 
Stegeman reached out to the Collier County School District to find out why Leonard was not fired and allowed to walk back to his classroom after the outburst.
The school district would only say this: "The incident was fully investigated and appropriate action was taken. In February, Mr. Leonard requested a leave of absense, which was approved." 
Leonard has not been arrested for any crime.
He says he is devastated that he will never be allowed to teach at Vineyards again. 
His future with the district, however, is unclear. He is currently on medical leave until the end of May to take care of himself and his family.  
The victim told FOX 4 she wasn't allowed to talk about the investigation.