Middle school teacher facing cocaine, DUI charges

Paul Badamo, 37, is facing DUI and cocaine possession charges following his arrest in Fort Pierce. (St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office)

A middle school teacher is facing cocaine and DUI charges after deputies say he crashed through a stop sign, ran a red light, and drove against oncoming traffic in Fort Pierce.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office arrested 37-year-old Paul Thomas Badamo of Port St. Lucie on Sunday night.

According to the sheriff's office, another unnamed agency saw Badamo hit a stop sign before driving out of a neighborhood. A sheriff's deputy located and followed Badamo's car. The deputy said Badamo was driving erratically and ran a red light on Okeechobee Road. A second deputy followed behind and saw Badamo's car hit a concrete curb before driving against oncoming traffic. The car pulled into a parking lot with a blown tire, investigators said.

The first deputy to talk with Badamo wrote in the report that he appeared to be intoxicated and unable to understand or follow basic commands. According to the sheriff's office, a deputy said he found syringes, a spoon and a rock in a black bag in the trunk. The sheriff's office said the rock and spoon tested positive for cocaine. Investigators said Badamo had slurred speech and appeared to be sleeping during his questioning. After a roadside test he was arrested.

Badamo is a teacher at Anderson Middle School in Stuart.

The Martin County School District tells CBS12 Badamo submitted his resignation Monday, the day after his arrest.

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

Badamo had been with the district since September 2016.

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