Two people are dead and several others injured in a string of violent crimes in Lealman that officials say may be connected.

Officials arrested Anthony Joseph Giancola, 45, in connection with Friday's crime spree in Lealman. Giancola is a former principal of Van Buren Middle School.

Investigators said all of the crimes happened within a 30-minute time period, starting shortly after 11 a.m. and ending with Giancola's arrest at 66th Street and 62nd Avenue North.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Giancola told his mother "she would be very proud of him because he just killed 10 drug dealers" after the crime spree started.

"He was all bloody and it was obvious that he had been in some sort of fight or confrontation," Gualtieri said. "He was apparently high on drugs, intoxicated."


Gualtieri said his first stop was a group home for the hearing impaired, located on the 5100 block of 35th Way, shortly before 11 a.m.

Officials said four people were stabbed at the home. 

Justin Lee Vandenburgh, 27, was found dead at the scene. Mary Anne Allis, 59, was pronounced dead at Northside Hospital.

The other victims were taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where they are being treated for what appear to be non-life threatening injuries. The victims were identified Friday night as Danielle Whitney Gilbert, 25, and Janice Denise Rhoden, 43.

"He used a knife, a big knife," Gualtieri said. The sheriff said the knife was left on the porch and Giancola was covered in blood when he was arrested.

"He was all bloody and it was obvious that he had been in some sort of fight or confrontation," Gualtieri said. "He had blood all over and he told his mother because that she would be very proud of him because he just killed 10 drug dealers. He was apparently high on drugs, intoxicated."

Gualtieri said they are investigating the drug angle, but the preliminary investigation suggests the victims were random targets. Investigators are still trying to figure out why they were attacked.


While authorities were responding to the stabbing, they got a call about a hit-and-run that injured five people, including a teenager.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a man in a 2005 Ford 500 Limited was parked in the HCF Foods Discount Store, located at 5705-B 58th Ave. N, when he reversed abruptly and crashed into a four-foot wooden pole.

The man then drove out of the parking lot and across the street to the duplex in the 2800 block of 58th Avenue N, where he spoke with several people.  According to the Tampa BayTimes, Giancola had asked the people where he could find women, and the group told him to go away.

Investigators said the man drove off and circled the block, then returned to the duplex and drove directly at three women and a man as they stood around the front porch of the complex. 

The man then reversed and started driving west on 58th Avenue N when he hit a 13-year-old child on a bicycle just east of U.S. 19, the FHP said.

The suspect then drove to the Egg Platter Restaurant on U.S. 19 and abandoned his vehicle, then got into a older Ford Ranger pick-up and fled along U.S. 19, investigators said.

The women were taken to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.  There is no word as to their condition.

The man and the teenager were treated and released at the scene.

Motel attack

At approximately 11:30 a.m., Pinellas Park police officers and firefighters responded to the Kenvin's Motel on Haines Road in Pinellas County where two people had been attacked.

A woman found one of the motel owners face down in a pool of her own blood and called 911. When deputies arrived, they found the woman's husband even worse off.

Witnesses said there was blood everywhere. TheTimes reports that the two people were severely beaten with a microwave.

The victims were identified as Kanu Patel and Indiranden Patel, both 57. They were transported to Bayfront Medical Center.

Another woman who was staying at the motel said Giancola came by on Thursday night in search of someone to "party" with.

Tenants said the owners were well-liked and that they don't know why someone would have targeted them.

Suspect's history with the law

This is not Giancola's first run-in with the law.  He was sentenced to a year behind bars in 2007 after he was convicted of buying crack cocaine in his office.

Giancola was caught on video buying $20 of crack from an undercover officer in his office during the school day. 

At the time, Giancola had said he hoped to become a drug counselor after he served his sentence.