Prior arrests of man accused of threatening FMB school officials raise concerns

Reporter: Mike Walcher & Nicole Valdes

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- The father of a Fort Myers Beach Elementary School student accused of harassing teachers and staff members is now under investigation by the Department of Children and Families.

School officials say Joseph Gilberti, 46, walked onto school property with his son, and lashed out at the principal and a teacher, ranting about water causing cancer. He then uploaded a video of the incident to YouTube.

The school was forced to cancel the scheduled Christmas program Thursday night, afraid that Gilberti would show up and harass teachers and other parents. Students performed the pageant on Friday with no audience. It was recorded and will be placed on the school’s website at a later date. At least two Lee County Sheriff’s deputies were assigned to the school on Friday.

WINK News uncovered Gilberti has a past criminal history dating back to 2006.

He was arrested in Lee County for three counts of stalking. Then, in 2012 and 2013, he was arrested twice, and faced a total of 18 charges of stalking, harassment and cyber stalking combined.

Thursday’s incident alarmed school officials, but some parents were disappointed the school cancelled the students show.

“Very discouraging for parents who have kids who wanted to go do that,” said William Spratt.

William Staubs, a bail bondsman based in Florida, says the school made the right call.

“The school that he went to should be on alert and they should be locked down and they should not be letting his crazy butt go in there,” said Staubs.

Staubs was involved in his past arrests, and said Gilberti has no regard for the law, or law enforcement. He believes Gilberti could pose a threat to the school, as well as the Fort Myers Beach community.

Staubs says he’s thankful the school made the decision to cancel the program, and that Gilberti is “a catalyst ready to explode at any moment.”

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office has banned Gilberti from setting foot on school property, however, he is still allowed to drop his son off.

An attorney at Wilbur and Smith tells WINK News although parents are concerned, there’s not much law enforcement can do other that monitor Gilberti’s behavior.

Staubs says he’s followed Gilberti across the state for years, but after seeing Thursday’s report on WINK News, he had to speak out.

“You don’t forget a voice, and I saw his name and I said ‘yeah that’s the guy,” said Staubs. “I was shocked that he’s not in prison number one, and number two, what’s he doing in Fort Myers?”

Classes in Lee County will be out for the next two weeks for winter break.

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