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From a Speeding Stop to an Accusation of Rioting at Flagler Jail: Dustin Singleton’s Spiral

| October 29, 2015

Dustin Singleton

Dustin Singleton, a tattoo artist from New York and a young father, in a Facebook image.

For Dustin Singleton, a 35-year-old resident of Palm Coast’s LL Section who’d gotten off parole two and a half years ago, it all started again with speeding: going 40 in a 30. It turned into an arrest for a small amount of marijuana. Then a probation violation: traces of marijuana turned up in a subsequent urine test. He was sentenced to a month at the county jail, still on a misdemeanor charge.

Tuesday evening, it became a second degree felony when he was accused of “instigating a riot,” because he and nine other inmates allegedly refused to go to their bunks, yelled obscenities at guards and made some demands.

An initial traffic stop that turned into an arrest and a brief probation conviction has now turned into a potential prison sentence of 15 years. All from going 10 miles over the sleep limit and having a few leaves of pot in an Altoid box.

Singleton, who describes himself as a tattoo artist on his LinkedIn page and is black—blacks are 31 percent more likely to be pulled over for minor traffic infractions than whites, federal statistics show—was pulled over the afternoon of March 27 for going 40 in a 30 near the intersection of Lloyd Trail and Lloleeta Path in Palm Coast. He didn’t have a valid driver’s license and was cited for it, but that charge was later dropped. He was given a verbal warning for speeding.

During the traffic stop, the deputy “smelled a stroing odor of marijuana in the vehicle,” according to Singleton’s arrest report. Singleton admitted to having a “clip” of marijuana in an Altoid box in the passenger-side door. He was booked at the Flagler County jail on a count of marijuana possession, under 20 grams, a first-degree misdemeanor.

He posted bail on $500 bond and was released. He pleaded no contest and on Aug. 13 was sentenced to six months’ probation and 25 hours of community service, unless he chose to pay off the 25 days with a fine.

Part of his probation entailed urine tests. Singleton took one on Oct. 2. He failed it. The sample came back positive for THC, the active ingredient in pot. A warrant was issued for his arrest. Eleven days later a deputy saw Singleton’s pick-up truck “weaving within its own lane from left to right.” The vehicle crossed the dotted lane divider line—once. That prompted a traffic stop “to investigate whether the driver was impaired,” the deputy wrote in the arrest report.

Singleton was not impaired, and the deputy concluded that no law was broken, attributing what weaving was observed to the type of wheels on the vehicle. But the traffic stop brought up the warrant. Singleton—who recorded the encounter on his cell phone–was arrested on the probation violation.

Nine days ago (on Oct. 20), before County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens, Singleton was sentenced to 30 days at the county jail for the probation violation after Singleton admitted to the violation and waived counsel. At that point, he was still guilty of a misdemeanor.

The incidents that led to the more serious charge are sketchy. The charge is not: rioting or causing a mutiny at a state correctional institution, a second-degree felony.

Singleton’s arrest report states that Tuesday evening at the county jail, he was given “specific orders” by two deputies to “remain seated on his bunk in accordance with the lockdown status that the entire housing unit was placed on.” Singleton allegedly refused the orders and “corroborated with nine other inmates to pack up their individual belongings and sit and remain in the housing unit dayroom in defiance with the orders” given Singleton.

Singleton allegedly “did also participate in the yelling of obscenities and demands directed toward” jail staff, “causing the summons of additional staff members to respond to the riotous disturbance.”

Singleton was removed from the general population—the arrest report does not detail how—and placed in “disciplinary confinement” pending criminal charges. His bond on that charge was set at $5,000. His felony arraignment is set for the morning of Nov. 23. He has yet to secure or be assigned an attorney.

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24 Responses for “From a Speeding Stop to an Accusation of Rioting at Flagler Jail: Dustin Singleton’s Spiral”

  1. Anonymous says:

    You need to stop minimizing the criminal behavior of this man, however sympathetic you may wish to be. He is a consistent law-breaker whose disdain for the law and of the safety and welfare of others in his environment make him a continued threat. He is not a child. And he is not a victim of anyone but himself.

  2. gmath55 says:

    10 miles over the sleep limit. LOL

  3. Jeannie says:

    Are we to feel sorry for him because he is black. His own actions are what caused this. He needs to grow up and accept responsibility for his own actions.

  4. Fred says:

    If you do not like the law in regards to a little weed,work to change it or move to Colorado. I agree, it’s stupid. If your in jail, do as your told. It’s not supposed to be fun. You don’t get to do what you want. Learn to respect authority.

  5. More Time says:

    What ? I’m suppose to feel sorry for this LOSER . No, I don’t feel sorry. I actually feel he should be found guilty of rioting in a jail and given 5 years in the State Prison in Starke. That should wipe that smile off his face.

  6. I can't feel bad says:

    Sorry Flaglerlive, I can’t have sympathy for a grown man acting like a teenager on the loose for the first time. Up north I’d been in the system myself imprisoned as a youth racking up a felony and a being charged as an adult and then completing probation exceeding 5 years. Seems like he needs to mature, he should know even without the speeding, weed and no license contact with the police can get you violated. We know the stats, but self preservation is to do everything possible not to become the systems version of a modern day slave. The closer the county gets to finishing the new jail the less tolerant the sheriffs office will become so anything to put you in jail is politics and money for the benefactors. Don’t help them ruin your life.

  7. Five-O says:

    Here’s an idea… try not breaking the law.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I was recently pulled over for almost 25 over limit,I don’t do drugs and wasn’t drunk,have a clean driving record and was up front and honest when stopped….I for a verbal warning and a handshake and let go. .

    Don’t wanna go to jail? Don’t be a dumbass

  9. m&m says:

    I wonder why so many criminals from other states come to Palm Coast. There must be some advantage here they see to further their careers.

  10. Howard Duley says:

    Where did all this garbage come from in the twelve years since my wife and I have been here?

  11. Groot says:

    Kind of a Cool Hand Luke/Oh Brother Where Art Thou scenario. The best thing he could have done, is shut up, act humble and do the 30 days and move on. He was previously on parole so an ex-con and he knows the drill. His prior convictions, no doubt up north, may have played into his original sentence.

  12. informed says:

    these are all choices this individual made, and he should be held accountable for them. He has nobody to blame but himself for staying in there for longer then 30 days.

  13. The Truth says:

    Why is this article making him seem like a victim? He was speeding (10 mph over) and was caught with an illegal substance. While I agree marijuana should be legalized, it is not legal in many states at this time. If you have it on you, you risk being arrested for that.

    He then started a riot in jail and is going to pay the price for that. He chose these actions. There are many cases where racial profiling and wrongful arrests occur, this however was not one of them.

  14. Sherry says:

    OK. . . for just a tiny bit of relevancy. . . contrast this story with the one of how pretty, “white”, young, female, Rebecca Lawless was treated at by our law enforcement officers on TWO occasions while being much more dangerous with a DUI and causing the loss of life and injuries in one day!

    I wonder how this would have gone down if this young man were “white” and brought up in the “correct” kind of Christian family. . . “awww, a scrape with the law in the past. . . kids will be kids”. . .

    The racial prejudice and profiling in these comments is disgusting!

  15. mel says:

    Hang em high and give him the max, 15 years with no good time for inciting a riot that endangered the lives of the corrections officers

  16. footballen says:

    Wait did I miss the part where they charged him with DUI for being stoned while driving? Did I miss the part where the deputy stated that he did not feel comfortable with the initial stop and risk “fruit of a poison tree” scenario if the decision was to process for arrest? Apples to Oranges Sherry.

  17. footballen says:

    Where in this article is it even slightly indicative that any of what happened was a result of his skin color or religion? The excuses for absolutely intolerable behavior is ridiculous! You can’t just say “it’s because he is black” and get a pass! What happened with the “white girl” that you so elequently pointed out had absolutely nothing to do with her skin color or religion either and for you to insinuate that proves your own racist tendency and ignorance to all things NOT the easy way out.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Rebecca Lawless is not the point here. What happened with her is as wrong on the other extreme of the spectrum as it would be to excuse/minimize the repeated criminal behavior of this guy simply because he happens to be Black.

  19. Geezer says:

    Is Dustin Singleton a violent or non-violent offender per his priors?
    If he’s of the non-violent variety, then 15 years is INSANE.
    All the large-scale crooks (banksters) NEVER see prison.

    And give me a break, just about everybody in Palm Coast speeds.
    10 MPH over 30 will not yield you a ticket / stop unless you drive while black.
    If he was “white and nerdy” the comments here would be overwhelmingly
    supportive of Dustin Singleton.

    He needs an attitude adjustment – not for fifteen years though.

  20. Outsider says:

    I guess we are supposed to feel for this guy because he is a young father. Well, start acting like a young father and set some better examples of how to behave properly in society and maybe there won’tbe another generation of jackasses in your family.

  21. Billy t says:

    He is a repeat offender …. Period

  22. Sherry says:

    Thanks Geezer. . . right on, as usual!

    Yes, this young man most certainly needs an attitude adjustment. However, this is a perfect example of how everyone is certainly NOT treated equally under the law. Our jails are filled with young black men who needed an attitude adjustment. . . not a long jail sentence in a penal system that does not even bother with considering any form of rehabilitation.

    I’m just thankful that I have not had the misfortune of walking a mile in his shoes. It’s tragically sad that so many in our society have no compassion at all. Fear and hate. . . the destroyer of souls!

  23. Jadobi says:

    Some say 10 over in a 30 is no big deal. Now consider where most of the 30 mph areas are in Palm Coast… Residential streets. 40 is far too fast for a residential street.

  24. GT says:

    He got himself in trouble it has nothing to do with him being black it has everything to do with him being a jackass, keep him locked up see if he grows some brains.

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