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Orlando gunman Omar Mateen was arrested as a teenager for fighting in school, according to new records released Thursday.
The detail was contained in personnel records from Mateen's brief stint as a Florida corrections officer and adds to an emerging portrait of a troubled youth.
Mateen disclosed in his application that he had an arrest on his record for battery and for disrupting school business that had been adjudicated. He wrote a letter explaining why the arrest should not prevent him from being hired as a corrections officer.
"I did not get handcuffed and did not go to jail," he wrote. "It has been five years since the fight occurred and I have not gotten in any altercations ending up in physical contact.
"This was an experience of me growing up and I learned a big lesson from it."
Mateen's school records show he struggled with behavior issues well before that fight. When he was in third grade, his teacher described him as "verbally abusive, rude, aggressive." She said he talked often about "violence and sex" and used obscenities.
She described an incident in which Mateen was supposed to be singing a song called "Mariposa, Mariposa" but substituted "Marijuana, Marijuana" instead.
The school file shows that Mateen was still having problems in the sixth grade, when he was placed into a new class "to avoid conflicts with other students."
"He is unable to concentrate on his schoolwork and stop trying to get attention from his classmates," the school wrote.
Seven years later, when Mateen applied to be a corrections officer, one of his references, a Port St. Lucie police officer, painted a far different portrait of him.
"Omar's character is beyond reproach. Omar's judgment, work ethic, sensibility and problem solving ability are impeccable," the officer wrote. "I would sleep soundly at night knowing that a person like Omar is protecting us for (sic) the element which resides behind your concrete and steel walls."
Mateen was hired in October 2006 while he was enrolled in a program at Indian River State College. He was "involuntarily dismissed" from the Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown in April 2007, the Corrections Department said.
Because he was a probationary employee at the time, the details of his dismissal were not included in the personnel file, officials said. The documents do say he was not dismissed for "misconduct."
Mateen, 29, was working as a security guard at a golf course when he went on his rampage at the Pulse nightclub and killed 49 people after declaring allegiance to ISIS.