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Police: Principal punched motorist

UPI News Service, 03/08/2011 

Police in Florida said a school principal was arrested on allegations he kicked a vehicle and punched the driver because of the motorist's slow speed.

Gainesville police said Curtis Peterson, 45, principal of Gainesville charter school Caring and Sharing Learning School Inc., was arrested Friday and charged with felony assault and battery during burglary, simple battery and criminal mischief, the Gainesville Sun reported Tuesday.

Deputies said Nicholas LoCastro and his passenger, Jennifer Waite, told investigators Peterson honked the horn of his silver Chrysler minivan at them about 4:40 p.m. at the intersection of Hull Road and Southwest 34th Street.

LoCastro and Waite said Peterson pulled up beside their vehicle and tried to force them off the road. LoCastro said he responded to Peterson with an obscene gesture.

Peterson is accused of exiting his car a short time later as both vehicles were stopped in traffic, and kicking LoCastro's back bumper while shouting at the motorist through the window about his slow driving.

LoCastro said he rolled down his window to respond to Peterson and the other man reached into the window, punched him in the face and returned to his minivan.

Police said the incident is considered burglary-related because Peterson allegedly put his arm inside the vehicle without permission to commit a crime.

Sharing and Caring administrators said Peterson has been placed on administrative leave.

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