Shawn Schmidli is ‘well-respected around the state,’ a district spokesman said.
Respected Flagler Schools administrator Shawn Schmidli was detained under a Baker Act Nov. 16 after deputies saw him running nude down the sidewalk outside the Government Services Building on State Road 100.
A statement from Schmidli's family, forwarded to the press from the school district's official spokesman, said that Schmidli had "suffered a medical episode that could have happened to anyone. This was NOT a drug or alcohol related event. His condition was caused by a bacterial infection. Thanks to the prompt response by the medical staff with treatment, we are looking forward to a speedy recovery."
Schmidli, 35, is the district’s assessment coordinator and a former Matanzas High School teacher. He’s won accolades in both roles, earning a slew of 5-star reviews on ratemyteacher.com as a biology teacher, and often being called upon to present statistics-heavy reports at School Board meetings in his role as an administrator.
But on Nov. 16, someone called the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office at about 3:12 p.m. about a district employee acting “irrational” at the Government Services Building, according to a Sheriff’s Office case report.
A deputy arrived and saw Schmidli running undressed down the sidewalk, with a Flagler County Fire Rescue rescue ambulance driving beside him, its light activated, in the eastbound lane.
Schmidli was “weaving back and forth” as he ran, a deputy wrote in an incident report. The deputy pulled up next to Schmidli and told him to stop, but he ran faster.
The deputy drove his patrol car to the entrance of city plaza, blocking Schmidli’s path, and then chased Schmidli on foot when he ran around the car. The deputy took Schmidli to the ground and detained him on the grass shoulder of the road.
Schmidli was speaking incoherently and couldn’t form a complete sentence, according to the report. The ambulance took him to Florida Hospital Flagler, and Schmidli was Baker Acted; he will be held for psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he’s a danger to himself or others.
Schmidli is still employed with the district, but is on personal leave, Flagler Schools spokesman Jason Wheeler said.
“He’s a valued member of the Flagler Schools family,” Wheeler said. “He’s well-respected around the state.”