By Curt Yeomans
An assistant principal in the Clayton County Public School System is facing charges that he allegedly drove through Decatur last month while intoxicated. According to DeKalb County police and court records, he was intoxicated at a level that is nearly three times higher than the level allowed under state law.
Fredrick Benard Stamper, an assistant principal at the Eddie J. White K-8 Academy, in Hampton, was arrested on Oct. 7, and charged with driving under the influence, and failure to maintain a lane, according to online court records for DeKalb County.
The records show that Stamper, a resident of Stone Mountain, is scheduled to be formally arraigned on the charges on Jan. 11, 2011, in DeKalb County State Court. A DeKalb County Police Report says he allegedly registered a reading of 0.230 on a breathalyzer test administered at the DeKalb County Jail. Under Georgia law, the legal limit is under 0.08.
"The suspect had a faint odor of alcohol on his body, and breath," DeKalb County Police Officer Mark L. Williams wrote in his report on Stamper's arrest.
Williams wrote that he spotted Stamper driving through the intersection of Glenwood Road and Columbia Drive without his headlights turned on at 2 a.m., on Oct. 7. The police officer added that he began following Stamper. The headlights on the assistant principal's car then came on, Williams wrote.
"I observed that the vehicle had turned its headlights on at this time, but was weaving in and out of his lane of travel," Williams wrote.
The officer said in the report that, after he pulled Stamper over, the assistant principal had trouble giving him his driver's license, because he dropped his wallet twice while trying to remove the license from it.
"The subject seemed to be acting very confused," the police officer wrote.
According to Williams, Stamper told him he had just come from an Atlanta restaurant, Agave, where he claimed to have had only two beers.
The officer noted in his report that Stamper's eyes were bloodshot and watery, and his speech was slurred, and slow. The officer also noted that Stamper stumbled as he got out of his car to perform a field sobriety test. The officer also said Stamper swayed, and needed support as he walked, acted in a defiant, and defensive -- yet cooperative -- manner, and omitted at least one letter while reciting the alphabet.
As an administrator at the K-8 academy, Stamper is responsible for helping to oversee the education of kindergartners-through eighth-graders.
"The suspect was also having problems remembering where he was, and what I had instructed him to do," Williams wrote. "The suspect asked the same questions over and over, as though I had never answered him."
Online court records show that Stamper was released from jail, sometime after his arrest, on $2,000 bond, which was paid by a bonding agent.
Clayton County Public Schools Spokesman Charles White said the district is not commenting on the issue, because the investigation into the incident is ongoing.