A more detailed image of the man arrested Tuesday for possessing firearms on campus emerged Wednesday, possibly revealing signs of mental troubles.
Co-workers and authorities said Cloal Leatherman believed he was the direct target of terrorist activities, threatened fellow employees and often exhibited erratic behavior.
After his bail was revoked because of concerns about his mental health, Leatherman faced a judge Wednesday morning in a hearing to determine whether he posed a threat to himself or those around him.
During the hearing, Assistant State Attorney Linda Grable revealedevidence of Leatherman’s unstable mental state, saying he has a long history of paranoia and believes members of al-Qaida are actively pursuing him.
As a result, Judge Walter Heinrich withheld bail pending a psychological evaluation, which could send Leatherman to a state hospital until he is deemed competent for trial.
Leatherman was arrested early Tuesday while sleeping in his car in the University Police Department’s parking lot. Suspicion was roused when Leatherman parked in a staff spot and didn’t exit the vehicle.
According to UP, two guns were found in his car along with a six-inch survival knife and more than 70 rounds of ammunition.
Additionally, UP officers reportedly found a disturbing journal in Leatherman’s car and, according to the St. Petersburg Times, this is not the first time he has been charged with having a weapon in the wrong place.
According to the Times, in October 2003 Leatherman walked into ,the Pinellas County Sheriff’s headquarters to file a complaint with a concealed handgun, a violation of state law. He was charged with a misdemeanor and fined.
According to his former employer, Aricon Group CEO Rocky Sellers, initially the bilingual Leatherman seemed like a perfect employee.
He excelled in the positions of safety director and estimator for the general contracting firm, Sellers said, but soon Leatherman began to show a darker side.
“I’ve never had to fire someone because of personality conflict,” Sellers said. “This guy was an ace at what he did, but once he stepped outside of that box, he made all of my people feel really uncomfortable.”
According to Sellers, Leatherman began to tell employees to “watch their backs” and began talking to those he trusted most about a nameless stalker. Leatherman believed this stalker who plagued his existence would eventually cost him his job.
One morning at 4, Sellers made an unplanned stop by his office on his way out of town to find Leatherman asleep in the office conference room. According to Sellers, he offered Leatherman help, but Leatherman refused.
The situation came to a head about a week ago, Sellers said, when Leatherman approached Aricon Group’s chief financial officer and told her about the stalker.
“After a conversation with (Leatherman), the CFO left work for lunch and was supposed to return,” Sellers said. “She didn’t want to return until after I spoke with him.”
According to Sellers, the decision to fire Leatherman was made Friday. He was waiting to inform Leatherman until the end of the week, he said.