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Hernando teacher on unpaid leave charged with moving mailbox without permission

BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County teacher already on unpaid administrative leave was arrested Tuesday and charged with criminal mischief and petty theft for moving his mother-in-law's mailbox, deputies say.

Aaron Christopher Kinkaid, 43, moved the mailbox to another part of the right of way without permission, according to a Hernando Sheriff's Office arrest report.

The report gives this account:

Mary Bennett and her daughter, Christina Easton, called deputies on Dec. 10 after Easton saw Kinkaid uproot their mailbox and move it to another group of boxes down the street.

Bennett is the mother of Kinkaid's wife, Stephanie, and Easton is Stephanie's sister. Easton lives in Bennett's house next door to the Kinkaids on Willow Bank Avenue, east of Brooksville.

Bennett and Easton told deputies that Kinkaid's troubles with the school district have caused tension between them and the Kinkaids. The Kinkaids are teachers at Eastside Elementary, but Aaron Kinkaid has been on unpaid leave since Aug. 14.

Aaron Kinkaid told deputies he moved the mailbox without permission because Easton had looked in his mailbox the prior week. Easton denied that. Deputies explained that the mailboxes were on county right of way, not his property.

Easton and Bennett said they did not want to press charges. Three days later, Easton told deputies she had changed her mind.

Kinkaid was arrested on a warrant early Tuesday morning, booked into the Hernando County Detention Center and posted $500 bail the same day.

Kinkaid told the Tampa Bay Times in an email that he was arrested in error and was a victim of "brutality" by deputies. A spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office disputed that and said Kinkaid had not filed a complaint.

Heather Martin, the school district's executive director of business services, declined to comment on Kinkaid's arrest. Details surrounding his current status with the district were unclear Wednesday.

Kinkaid also was placed on paid leave in April 2012 when he worked as a technology instructor at Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics in Spring Hill. According to an incident report, Kinkaid tried to get into a leadership meeting at the school to tell those in attendance that they were "monsters."

Hernando teacher on unpaid leave charged with moving mailbox without permission 12/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 10:38pm]
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