Martin County teacher facing DUI, cocaine charges

Posted at 3:17 PM, Apr 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-25 15:17:39-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- A Martin County teacher was charged with DUI and cocaine possession after his arrest on Sunday.

According to an arrest affidavit, 37-year-old Paul Thomas Badamo of Port St. Lucie was observed striking a stop sign, running a red light, striking a curb and driving into oncoming traffic before parking his vehicle in the parking lot of the Orange Blossom Mall in Fort Pierce, due to a blown tire.

During a traffic stop on Badamo's vehicle, deputies say he was reaching around in the vehicle and would not follow their commands. Deputies removed him from the vehicle and placed him in handcuffs due to his "strange behavior".

While searching the vehicle, deputies located syringes and a spoon and what appeared to be a crack rock in a black bag in the trunk. The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office says the substance appearing to be a crack rock and the spoon both tested positive for cocaine.

Deputies say Badamo appeared to be falling asleep several times while they attempted to administer a field sobriety test. 

Badamo was a science teacher at Anderson Middle School and had been with the District since 2016. According to the District, he resigned the day after his arrest.

Superintendent Laurie Gaylord issued the following statement:

The District is committed to always ensuring student safety and providing an academic environment where all students can succeed.  We follow state statute and School Board policies regarding the hiring and employment of our staff.  The teacher resigned effective Monday, April 23, 2018.