ST. PETERSBURG — A former Hillsborough County middle school principal who pleaded guilty two years ago to buying crack cocaine in his school office now faces charges in Pinellas stemming from an arrest Saturday.
Deputies arrested Anthony Giancola, 53, of Largo on charges of loitering and prowling and violating his probation.
Giancola, the ex-principal of Van Buren Middle School, has been on probation since June 2007. Four months earlier, Giancola was arrested at school after completing a drug deal with an undercover police officer.
His plea agreement required him to forfeit his teaching certificates.
Authorities encountered him again about 3 a.m. Saturday on 42nd Street just north of 54th Avenue N in St. Petersburg, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Giancola was parked in a car with the engine and lights off, authorities said. He told deputies he was waiting for a person named "Mike," said sheriff's spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda. But Giancola couldn't provide any information about who "Mike" was, including his last name, Barreda said.
During the investigation, a deputy also noticed Giancola moving his foot around as if trying to hide something.
"When he (the deputy) shone a light in the car, he discovered a full-sized butcher knife on the floorboard," Barreda said. "He (Giancola) claimed it was for work as a cook/chef."
Giancola was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and released about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday after posting $5,250 bail, jail records show.