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Shannon Diamond, Flagler County Youth Center’s Assistant Director, Arrested on DUI

| March 13, 2012

Shannon Diamond (FCSO)

Update: The Flagler County School Board fired Shannon Diamond at its May 7, 2013, meeting. Related stories here and here.


Shannon Diamond, the 31-year-old assistant director at the Flagler County Youth Center for the past six years, was arrested and jailed late Sunday evening on a charge of drunk driving and refusing to submit to alcohol testing. He bonded out.

The arrest took place on Diamond’s time, not on the school district’s clock, on a day when Diamond was off.

Diamond called in sick on Monday, but was due at work Tuesday, Youth Center Director Cheryl Massaro said. Massaro said there were many unanswered questions regarding Diamond’s status. “I’m trying to figure out what’s best for everybody involved, both my employer and his family,” Massaro said. The Youth Center is run by the Flagler County school district.

“We’ll investigate,” School Superintendent Janet Valentine said, referring to Diamond’s case. “It doesn’t necessarily lead to termination, but certainly he needs to be a role model in our youth center. So I’ll have to investigate and make that determination.”

Valentine had not been aware of Diamond’s arrest until informed by a reporter. She spoke during a break this morning in the Flagler County School Board’s hearing regarding the closure of Heritage Academy, the charter school. Massaro herself was informed of the arrest by Jacob Oliva, the principal at Flagler Palm Coast High School, who gets a report on the weekend’s police activities every Monday. Massaro and Oliva then informed Harriett Holiday, the district’s human resources director.

School employees occasionally face DUI charges. The cases are treated on a case-by-case basis.

Diamond, one of three full-time employees at the youth center (the third is at Carver Gym), “monitors behavior within the youth center,” Massaro said. Being a role model is “part of his responsibility.” Some 80 students on average use the Youth Center on a typical day. The center is open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. It also employs four part-time employees. Massaro said Diamond is a good employee. “He’s good with the kids, that’s why he’s here,” the director said.

Diamond was reported at the Kangaroo convenience store Sunday evening just after 9:30 p.m., at the pump, according to a police report. The store clerk told police that an apparently drunk man was trying to buy beer. The clerk refused to sell it. The man then left in his Ford, going north on Old Kings Road and turning onto Royal Palms Parkway toward Belle Terre Parkway. Multiple callers to 911 spoke of a vehicle “all over the road,” according to the police report.

A deputy on Belle Terre saw Diamond’s Ford traveling toward Whiteview Parkway, and entering the intersection at high speed. “The vehicle stopped suddenly in the middle of the intersection, forcing other vehicles to alter speed and direction to avoid a collision,” the police report states. The Ford then turned and went south on Belle Terre instead, accelerating to 55 miles per hour (Belle Terre is a 45). The deputy turned on his police lights. Diamond kept driving, then turned left onto the turning lane for Ponce De Leon Drive, and stopped in the middle of the intersection.

“Upon approaching the vehicle,” the deputy reports, “the male was confused and not responding to commands to put the vehicle into park. I reached into the vehicle and put the vehicle into park and took the keys out of the ignition.” Diamond was in the car by himself. Hi speech was “incoherent, slurred and mumbling,” according to the deputy. “He was unable to form complete coherent sentences.” Diamond was asked to exit the Ford. He was unsteady on his feet and leaned on the car for balance. The cop escorted him by the arm to the sidewalk along Belle Terre, where Diamond would not comply with tests police administer drivers believed to be drunk.

“I love you guys, I just wanna go home,” Diamond said, according to the report. “I live just down the street, I was going home.” Diamond lives at 35 Hembury Lane, near the Woodlands on the opposite side of I-95, a considerable distance from the spot at Belle Terre where he was stopped. As he refused to follow the cop’s directions and started walking away, Diamond was placed under arrest for DUI for his “drunk like behavior, slurred thick speech, uncoordinated behavior and the very strong odor of alcoholic beverages” coming from him.

Once in the back of the patrol car, Diamond again repeated, “I love you guys, I don’t want to mess with you guys,” then tried to open the rear door of the cruiser. When deputies opened the door to loosen one of the cuffs, Diamond tried to leave the cruiser and had to be physically restrained.

At the jail, Diamond provided one sample of his breath, registering 0.251 percent blood alcohol content. The legal limit in Florida is 0.08 percent. Deputies asked for samples twice more. Twice, Diamond refused to fully comply, according to the report, blowing small puffs of air instead–not enough to register a result. He also refused to get into jail clothes. And he refused to sign the DUI citation.

Diamond was later released on $2,000 bail. His vehicle was towed from Belle Terre by John’s Towing.

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35 Responses for “Shannon Diamond, Flagler County Youth Center’s Assistant Director, Arrested on DUI”

  1. Donna De Poalo via Facebook says:

    Good grief

  2. Walters Anissa via Facebook says:

    WOW….

  3. Nancy N. says:

    The school district may not have to make a decision about his employment. His license will be suspended for a period of time just because he has been charged with DUI. (Florida has this funny idea they don’t actually have to wait to convict you before imposing a sentence for DUI – your license is suspended automatically just for being charged.) If he can’t find another way to work…the district’s dilemma may just go away.

  4. Gia says:

    That maniac could have kill someone on the road. No sympathies.

  5. JW says:

    This guy could have killed someone out there. No excuse for behavior like this. He is not a role model for my kids. He needs to go to a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) meeting and see what his actions could have been if he had not been caught in time. Thanks to all the citizens out there and to the worker at the Kangaroo for calling this guy in. He should have been stopped before getting back in the car, but I know it is not the employees job to take the risk with a drunk. I think it is clear what the School district should do….let’s hope they make the right decision. We will see…..a follow up report is in order.

    • Chris P. says:

      What a loser!! He is no role model my kids. My children go to Flagler Palm Coast High School and they know this “man”! Absolutely disappointing. He could’ve killed himself or someone else.

  6. knowsalittle says:

    Everyone has difficulties in life and no one here knows Shannon’s background or history. Maybe this will be a lesson he can learn from and teach others from his experience.

  7. palmcoaster says:

    Do they screen their employees in the school district? Because between this one and the Copeland district negotiator, I am wondering if they have any common sense hiring guidelines.

  8. g starr says:

    Stop being so hard on the guy.. it’s real easy to sit and point fingers! Everyone makes mistakes but over all he is trying to be a positive in an otherwise negative , under staffed, under appreciated school system… The m III stake was stupid and there is no excuse for it. But sounds like some of u would have him hung.

    • The Truth says:

      Stop being so hard on the guy? He was DRIVING DRUNK. His erratic driving and SPEEDING could have killed you, or me or anyone on the road at that time. Just because it ended without anyone being killed doesn’t mean we can just brush it off and say “well, he made a mistake, give him a second chance”.

  9. concerned says:

    There are a lot of teachers who smoke weed and get away with it. Maybe some piss tests should be taken specially in the art department at FPC. At least drinking is legal but he did make a mistake by driving, He could of called for a ride from where he was drinking and that would have been responsible and being a good role model.

  10. w.ryan says:

    I know Shannon. He’s a stand up guy. He works hard for the kids in the center and he can always be counted on. It’s unfortunate for him and for the center that this situation has come about. At this point I can only be a character witness. It’s also unfortunate that the story told by the police report is damming but as with all police arrest reports they come with enough indictable statements that the picture is bleak. we still have his account and missing information that has yet to be discovered. If firing him is in the works in particular with regard to bad judgement then we need to assess the balance of fairness especially when it comes to Fischer’s judgement to expect help from Sheriff Fleming placing the Sheriff in a negative light. No one was killed in this particular case.

  11. peopleperson says:

    My kids go to FPC and have always spoken well of him. What he did was wrong & we all know that. Everyone makes mistakes some time in their life & if we say we haven’t than we are lying to our self. I’m a faith believer in second chances.

  12. The Truth says:

    I know Shannon as well, but I am not going to defend him here. There is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for driving drunk. He could have killed numerous people with his drunk driving. Anyone who defends him in this particular case is being completely dense.

    This isn’t just a “little mistake” or “bad judgement”. Some of you on here are extremely hypocritical. To say that others are pointing fingers is just plain stupid. This man put many others lives in danger with his bad decision. He is working with kids, particularly kids that are at the age where they start experimenting with alcohol (unfortunately, this does happen in high school). To allow a man who was driving drunk to keep his job, and continue to be a role model for children would not be a very smart move.

    I feel bad that he would lose this position, but he doesn’t deserve to be working there any longer.

  13. Mistakes says:

    I work for the school and know Shannon as well, no one is defending him in what he did was right, But I do know he does car for those kids , I’m sure some of the people that have bashed him on here have had drinks & drove” you” were just the lucky one’s that didn’t get caught!! He is a stand up guy, & like what was written in comment’s prior this could be a learning experiance, showing Teen’s the outcome of drinking & driving. People are never perfect and atleast no one was hurt.

    • The Truth says:

      No one is bashing him, and if my post came out that way then it was taken the wrong way. I never questioned how he is with those kids, but I do question how you can claim to be a role model and then do something like drinking and driving. Sure he’s going to say he made a mistake, and I’m sure he’s regretful for it, but the fact of the matter is that there are consequences for your actions. He should not get away with a slap on the hand for something like this.

      To compare having a “couple of drinks” to what Mr. Diamond had is just plain ridiculous. He didn’t just have a “a couple of drinks”. To be swerving on the road, stopping in the middle of intersections and not even be able to stand up is far more than just “a couple of drinks”.

      Perhaps you should try not thinking like a friend and actually just think about this situation as a whole. If you didn’t know someone and you heard this happened, and then found they work with teenagers and are supposed to be a role model, I doubt you’d feel the same way.

      I’m not questioning Mr. Diamond as a person. I too know him personally and have known him for quite some time. The point is, he made a very bad decision and given the position that he’s in he should be punished for it. He’s 31 years old with a child and a family. Making a decision like this is not something you’d expect from a grown man.

      • Not perfect says:

        Wow, you must have some personal issues with Mr.Diamond, we all know what he did was wrong but you won’t get off his back. He has a family & I’m sure he is dealing with them at the same time, the court & school system will decide what will happen. I pray for you, if you have a family , I’m sure you woudnt wish this upon yourself.

        • The Truth says:

          Why does this need to be personal? I have no personal issues with Mr. Diamond, none at all. I believe in taking responsibility for your actions. I have no remorse for anyone who is driving drunk. Why you ask? Because I have had friends who were KILLED by drunk drivers. So because Mr. Diamond didn’t kill anyone, we can just brush it off as a mistake, right? Let’s undermine how serious this really was because, well, he didn’t kill anyone.

          I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, but if someone is stupid enough to get into a vehicle when you are CLEARLY very drunk, you are asking for this. Quite frankly, the only thing I don’t wish on anyone is to be blind sided by a drunk driver.

  14. Rocco (The more famous Rocco with two c's) says:

    Listen, Shannon is a good guy, I have known him for the last three years. A few of you want to “Tar and Feather” him for doing something thousands of people do here in this county. I see hundreds of people leave establishments after drinking what would be considered over the limit. I used to work security at one local hot spot, I also would frequent many of the other establishments that serve alcohol, I have seen many professionals’ govt employees, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and educators leave after drinking. The better question to ask is, “was he out of control”? (I do not advocate drinking and driving-I just know it happens)
    They just did a series of test for the breathalyzers. They were asking for volunteers to drink, and then use the breathalyzers to determine (by sex, height, and weight) how much it takes to become over the limit. I knew a few of the volunteers, and they let me know it was way less than they thought.

  15. Flagler Parent says:

    This is not the type of role model I want for my kids. They should revoke his license

  16. Nancy N. says:

    Has anyone considered what a teachable moment this could become for the kids Mr. Diamond works with? Sure, he could just be made to vanish from their lives…but they would forget him (and the lesson) quickly as they move on with their self-absorbed teenaged lives. Or – he could live this experience out in front of them, sharing with them exactly how much it sucks, what the consequences are, how difficult it is to live without a driver’s license, how embarrassing and scary the whole experience is. THAT is being a role model, showing how to face up to a mistake, take responsibility and try to fix things – and might be a lesson that these kids would actually learn something from that would help them not repeat his mistake.

    I don’t know Mr. Diamond but some of the commenters here seem to have a lot of faith in him. Maybe he can help some kids while trying to fix his life from this.

  17. Anonymous222 says:

    There is no doubt that driving under the influence is foolish, but be aware there is more to the story that many of you do not know. Knowing Shannon personally, I know that he is a great person. People do stupid things all the time, it’s a fact of life. Things happen and we move on. We can’t expect school administrators and staff not to have a life outside of school. Shannon just happened make a mistake, as we all do. It would be a completely different story if he was arrested for a violent crime, and in this instance, that is not the case.

    To keep it short, there are many things that a lot of you don’t know. Hopefully his reputation is not negatively affected any more that it already is. Shannon is a great person.

    • Chris P. says:

      Shannon may be a “great person” but the point is he was DRIVING DRUNK. Period. It’s wrong, irresponsible, selfish! We understand that nobody was killed or hurt and lets thank god for that but it doesn’t make his mistake ok. What if someone were killed in this whole incident and what if that person were to be a student that goes to FPC or to the youth center?? I’m sure he wouldn’t be such a great person then now would he?! Let’s stop expressing how great of a person he is and put in perspective the big picture here!!! HE WAS DRIVING DRUNK.

  18. Outsider says:

    I know of this man as he works out at the same gym I do, but I certainly don’t know him well. I will not defend his actions as they certainly are irresponsible and he deserved to be taken off the road. I don’t know anything about his job, but if he is as dedicated to working with the kids at school as he is to bettering himself physically, there should be reason to pause before dismissing him. Perhaps a two week suspension without pay and a probationary period afterward would be in order. I despise drunk driving, but I’m not sure making him jobless will do anything to improve a substance abuse problem, if that is what this is. While it’s been decades, I can’t say I am without sin, and can’t throw the first stone.

  19. ZZadda says:

    I also know Mr Diamond and he is a good guy that loves his job.He is very good with the kids and they associate very well with him.Not one of us are in the position to judge that is Gods job.I am not saying that what he did was acceptable on the contrary it was a stupid mistake which I know he will learn from.Those of us who are without sin throw the first stone!! No one was hurt thank God,and if this is the first mistake he has made in his life,I think he has the right to a second chance,we all do! The reality is that alcohol is a big problem in this country even in middle school aged kids.The fact is that it will be a hard lesson for him but in life that is how we learn From our Mistakes !! With the support of his friends and his family he will overcome this bad part of his life.

  20. blondee says:

    This fool is lucky he didn’t kill or maim some innocent bystander. Frankly, I don’t care if he’s a youth director or a garbage man – throw the book at him!

    • Nancy N. says:

      Yes he is definitely lucky that he didn’t cause harm to anyone. But he didn’t. And he can’t be prosecuted for what he MIGHT have done – only what he actually did. And on a first offense DUI that caused no injuries it is unlikely that he will serve any time. He’ll likely be given the chance to learn from this experience and correct whatever problems he might have that lead to it. Which is why the discussion is about whether it’s appropriate for Mr Diamond to keep his job working with our community’s youth, because he will likely remain in the community, free to do so.

    • GGG says:

      I pray you are not judged so harshly in you hour of need.

  21. tulip says:

    @NancyN—–you made an excellent point! Maybe Shannon will be allowed to teach the kids a thing or two from real life experience. Who knows, maybe a good thing could come from a bad thing.

  22. Shocked says:

    My children have been at the Flagler Youth Center and love Mr. Diamond. My son looks up to him. My son also has quite a few behavioral problems. I don’t want Mr. Diamond to loose his job, but I want him disciplined enough that it makes him stand up in front of the high school and middle students that he deals with and admit what he did was wrong. I also want him to spend alot of time convincing these students to NOT drink. Not just drink and drive but to NOT drink, period. The number of students that drink is AMAZING. They think that it’s ok to fill a ‘still growing’ body with alcohol. Pregnant mothers shouldn’t drink – because their babies are still growing. Teenagers also shouldn’t drink because they are still growing. Mr. Diamond should have to spend many community service hours preaching to those teenagers about how wrong his decision was. He should be able to use this horrible deed as a teaching lesson.

  23. Robert Lewis says:

    This case sound awfully familiar. Seems like it was reported last year arubd this time. Another county employee utilizing a lack of better judgement and driving under the influence. Will Mr. Diamond be treated the same as another county employee charged with a DUI?

    https://flaglerlive.com/20079/diego-morales-dui

    Does anyone know what happened to that case? What ever happened here?

    Will Mr. Diamond be treated the same? Will he be put on paid administrative leave?

    It is unfortunate that a good person did not utilize better judgement. For God sakes, how many more injuries or deaths must we hear about? Do not drink and drive, call a cab.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think it’s funny how some people are so quick to judge others. No one is perfect; all those who are so quick to pass judgment should consider the fact that Diamond has a family. Asking for his job is not something that should be taken likely. Yes he made a mistake; that is clear, however I believe everyone should be given a second chance. Every man and woman that walks and has walked this earth has done at least one thing he or she wish they could take back. I personally know Diamond and Diamond has gone far beyond his job description for the children at the center. He has kept a number of adolescents out of trouble and on the right path. Something like this could have happened to any of us not necessary this particular situation but a similar situation. You don’t know what he had on his plate at the time or what type of stress he was under that could have been a contributing factor in his poor decision. I believe a lot of good can come from this. This could be a great teaching tool for the youth. By taking his job you will be teaching the children at the center the wrong lesson. Make a mistake and society turns their backs on you so why bother. You have children that go to the center that have made bad choices and are looking for a fresh start. I think it is very important for the children at the center to see that everyone makes mistakes but it is what you do when given a second chance.

  25. GGG says:

    I think it’s funny how some people are so quick to judge others. No one is perfect; all those who are so quick to pass judgment should consider the fact that Diamond has a family. Asking for his job is not something that should be taken likely. Yes he made a mistake; that is clear, however I believe everyone should be given a second chance. Every man and woman that walks and has walked this earth has done at least one thing he or she wish they could take back. I personally know Diamond and Diamond has gone far beyond his job description for the children at the center. He has kept a number of adolescents out of trouble and on the right path. Something like this could have happened to any of us not necessary this particular situation but a similar situation. You don’t know what he had on his plate at the time or what type of stress he was under that could have been a contributing factor in his poor decision. I believe a lot of good can come from this. This could be a great teaching tool for the youth. By taking his job you will be teaching the children at the center the wrong lesson. Make a mistake and society turns their backs on you so why bother. You have children that go to the center that have made bad choices and are looking for a fresh start. I think it is very important for the children at the center to see that everyone makes mistakes but it is what you do when given a second chance.

  26. Really? says:

    Throw the book at him

  27. George says:

    This guy is not a role model 10 arrest since he was 19 they need better background checks before they let his kind working around kids.

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