Florida Teacher, Student Arrested Following Alleged Crime Spree
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SHALIMAR, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – Florida police say a teacher skipped school to start a crime spree with her student and alleged lover.
Amanda Cooney, 25, left a short note of resignation on the desk of her classroom at Okaloosa Academy Charter School in Crestview before allegedly disappearing with a 16-year-old former student.
Authorities say they blazed a trail of petty theft and credit card fraud all the way to Ohio.
Three Florida law enforcement agencies coordinated charges on the warrants while police in Riverside, Ohio, arrested the two.
Riverside Deputy Chief Mike Brown said an officer was suspicious of Cooney’s green Ford parked in an out-of-the-way location Friday. He scanned the plates and saw notes from Florida warning that they should be considered armed and dangerous.
After calling for backup, police learned Cooney acquired the room under a false name. Cooney opened the door to officers, and the two were arrested without incident.
Police recovered credit cards not belonging to either of them, drug paraphernalia and a stolen, 9mm semiautomatic pistol from under a pillow. It had a round in the chamber and 13 in the magazine.
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Michele Nicholson said her office has opened an investigation into an allegation of unlawful sexual activity between the two.
In Shalimar, Cooney is accused of aiding and interfering with the 16-year-old.
Lt. Andrew Schneider of the Crestview Police Department said his department has charged Cooney with burglary of a vehicle, petty theft, forgery and fraudulent use of a credit card. The 16-year-old is a person of interest in similar charges.
Terri Roberts, the Rader Group’s COO who oversees Okaloosa Academy Charter School, told the Northwest Florida Daily News that Cooney’s note was found last Thursday. Roberts said Cooney was in her second year as a reading teacher and hadn’t been seen since Tuesday when she left early.
A representative of the Rader Group said Roberts is unavailable for further comment until Thursday.
Both Cooney and the 16-year-old await extradition.
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