Sugg Middle School teacher threatened to shoot neighbor, deputies say

Posted by JASON BARTOLONE on May 10, 2014 

Paul Sams

— A teacher at Sugg Middle School is facing aggravated assault charges after deputies say he threatened to shoot his neighbor with a shotgun Friday night.

Paul Sams, 43, and his 33-year-old neighbor, who live in the 600 block of 61st Street Northwest, have had an ongoing dispute, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

The two began arguing outside sometime around 5:50 p.m. Friday, then each man returned to his respective home, the report states.

The younger man came outside a few minutes later and saw Sams walking toward the roadway with a shotgun in his hand, according to the report.

Sams "racked the shotgun and made threats" toward his neighbor, the report states. The man took cover and called the sheriff's office.

Sams was arrested, and the shotgun was found inside his home, the sheriff's office said.

Manatee School District spokesperson Steve Valley confirmed Sams is a second-year teacher at Sugg Middle, although he is listed by a different first name in the district's email system.

The Sugg Middle School website lists Matt Sams as an ESE language arts teacher.

"He'll be placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of the MCSO's investigation," Valley said.

Sams was being held without bond at the Manatee County jail on an aggravated assault charge Saturday, according to the sheriff's office website.

Sams is not the only Sugg Middle teacher facing criminal charges. Last month, Bradenton police recommended charges of sexual battery in a case against physical education coach Brian Stephens.

An eighth-grade female student reportedly approached an assistant principal during her lunch hour and said she had been touched in the area of her breasts by Stephens, who was also the junior varsity baseball coach at Manatee High School.

Police are recommending that Stephens be charged with lewd and lascivious battery. The State Attorney's Office will review the case and decide whether or not to prosecute.

Sugg Middle principal Sharon Scarbrough was out of town for the weekend and could not be reached for comment.

Scarbrough is being reassigned to Haile Middle School in the fall.

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