‘How much trouble am I in?’: Principal of St. Cloud High School accused of keying car in Publix parking lot

Nathaniel Fancher, 48, faces a criminal mischief charge

Nathaniel Fancher, 48 (Osceola County Sheriff's Office)

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – The principal of St. Cloud High School was arrested Tuesday on a charge of criminal mischief after keying a car at a Publix store, according to the St. Cloud Police Department.

Principal Nathaniel Fancher, 48, faces the charge following an “incident” that happened outside of school last week, according to St. Cloud High School Assistant Principal Jennifer Wrona.

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According to an arrest affidavit, Fancher is accused of keying a car in a Publix parking lot located at 4401 13th Street in St. Cloud on Jan. 26.

Police met with the victim, who told them their car was keyed while they were inside of the store.

A “substantial scratch that extended nearly the entire length of passenger side of the vehicle” with an estimated damage over $1,000 was noted by police, according to the affidavit.

Police said management at the Publix provided security footage, which showed Fancher approach the victim’s vehicle. Fancher is seen walking the entire length of the passenger side of the vehicle, his left arm dragging behind the rest of his body.

He then looks back at the vehicle, walks out of the view of the camera and returns to view the passenger side of the vehicle again, police said.

According to the affidavit, officers were able to track Fancher on camera walk back into the store and make a positive identification of the man based off of the Publix employees he interacted with.

When police attempted to contact Fancher at his home, they said he notified them through a Ring doorbell camera that he was out of town, and they should call him on his cell phone.

Police said when they contacted Fancher on his cell phone and stated that they needed to speak with him about what happened at Publix a few days prior, Fancher stated, “is this about the car.”

According to the affidavit, police advised Fancher that he was under arrest, but he told police that he was in New York and would return Jan. 31.

Police said Fancher called them on Jan. 31, asking if he could contact the victim to pay for the damage and if he could avoid being arrested and have the charges filed with the state attorney’s office instead. In addition, Fancher asked if there was a way to avoid having a mugshot taken.

Fancher then agreed to speak with police at the St. Cloud Police Department at 2 p.m. on Jan. 31.

Police added that Fancher called the school resource officer at St. Cloud, confessed to keying the car and asked, “How much trouble am I in?”

The victim was able to provide police with an estimate for the damages, which totaled $3,748, according to the affidavit.

Police said Fancher faces a charge of criminal mischief over $1,000 and is held on $1,000 bond.

Wrona said in a statement that until the investigation and associated proceedings are finished, Fancher will be on administrative leave from the school.

“As this is a law enforcement matter, we are not able to discuss the incident in detail,” Wrona said. “Please be assured that our focus will remain on educating our students and minimizing any disruption in the learning process.”

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.