PE coach charged with child abuse and giving alcohol to minor
Published: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.
OCALA – A 38-year-old physical education coach at a local school faces charges including DUI and child abuse after officials say he gave alcohol to a minor.
Authorities say that on New Year's Day they received a call that a 16-year-old girl was missing and might be in the company of Shawn Derby Simon.
While patrolling around the county, a deputy received information that the teen's father had found his daughter at Walmart and was following Simon's vehicle.
Spotting the vehicle in the Walmart parking lot at 4980 East Silver Springs Blvd., the deputy followed and stopped it not far away.
Simon got out of the vehicle and stood by the door.
As he approached the vehicle, the deputy noted in his report, he detected alcohol on Simon's breath.
When asked if he had been drinking, Simon told the deputy he had a “a couple of beers,” and said he had just dropped off a friend at Walmart.
Another deputy arrived on scene to assist.
The officials found two half-empty Four Lokos on the passenger floorboard and 11 unopened Coors Light beers in an ice cooler on the back seat. Four Loko is a caffeinated alcoholic beverage.
Simon declined to perform a field sobriety exercise. He was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he also refused to submit to a breath test.
Detective Bobby LeVay interviewed the girl, who told him she met Simon at the Walmart lot around 5:30 p.m. and that when she got into his vehicle, he was drinking beer. The teen said they drove around for about a half an hour and went to Simon's home, where they drank on his porch for about three hours. She said while taking her back to the store parking lot, Simon drank Four Lokos.
The girl's mother told LeVay that Simon had texted her daughter more than 300 times over one weekend.
Officials say Simon knew the teenager through coaching softball.
Marion County School's spokesman Kevin Christian said Simon was a physical education coach at Fort McCoy School who has been certified since 2004 by the district. He said Simon did not have any bad reviews.
Christian said Simon is not allowed to go back to the school and that the normal protocol is to place a person on paid leave until an investigation is concluded.
Simon was charged with DUI, child abuse, interference with child custody and giving alcoholic beverages to a person under 21. Jail records show he was booked into the facility at 1:37 a.m. Jan. 2 and was released the same day at 5:08 p.m.
He could not be reached for comment.
Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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