NINETY SIX — Charleston EMS found Justin Leopard, assistant principal at Edgewood Middle School, “demonstrating signs of intoxication and attempting to back (his) vehicle out of the tree” when they arrived at the scene of a wreck over the holidays, according to a police report.
Leopard, 37, of 608 Fairway Lakes Road, Greenwood was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after he refused to take a field sobriety test, according to the report. He was taken to a hospital, medically cleared and transported to a detention facility where he then blew a 0.20 — the legal limit for blood alcohol level is 0.08 — and was “charged accordingly.”
Officer Timothy Carroll responded to the wreck, which happened shortly after 3 p.m. on Dec. 27. Leopard, he wrote, “demonstrated slurred speech, the inability to stand on his own, and lacked the comprehension of questions such as, are you ok (sic) or do you want to go with EMS.”
The officer noted seeing “multiple bottles of unopened fireball whiskey across the passenger seat and floor board.”
According to an arrest report, about three hours had passed from when the wreck happened to when he was booked at the detention center.
“The incident took place outside of the District and no students were involved in the events leading to Mr. Leopard’s arrest,” Superintendent Rex Ward said in a statement. “Mr. Leopard has been placed on (paid) administrative leave pending further investigation of the incident. As this involves a confidential personnel matter, the District will make no further comment at this time.”
Greenwood County School District 52 board chairman Paul Cobb declined to comment after a board meeting Tuesday night, saying he did not have enough information to do so.
Attempts to reach Leopard on Tuesday were not successful.
Leopard was released Dec. 28, a day after his arrest, on a $2,262 bond. According to the South Carolina Code of Laws, a first-time DUI conviction can result in a six-month driver’s license suspension, a fine of $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. His court date is March 12.
Leopard’s dog, which was in his 2007 Chevrolet Silverado during the wreck, was taken to an animal shelter.