Accused Flagler County 'wedding crasher' issues statement

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MUGSHOT: Jacksonville-area woman arrested after reportedly crashing wedding

UPDATE: Man said he has filed restraining order against accused 'wedding crasher'

Shelby McDowell, the Florida woman who was arrested over the weekend at a wedding in Flagler County, asked us to publish this statement: 

"My name is Shelby McDowell, and I am known as the “Wedding Crasher.” I am writing this article because my side of the story should be brought to light.

There are three truths to every story.

In this case, mine, theirs, and the “real” truth. My truth is the closest to the “real” truth that you will ever hear, opposed to any other made-up, erroneous, and exaggerated stories.

To start, I’ll give you a perspective of who I am. I am from Lake Butler, Florida and I currently reside in Saint Augustine, Florida. I am 20 years old. I graduated 3rd in my class in high school and started my college education at the University of Florida. I transferred to the University of North Florida, where I am currently majoring in Accounting and Finance.

I’ve always been told that I have a big heart because of my love for people and living life. Darby Johns and I had been in a relationship for almost 2 years. We planned a trip and bought plane tickets to Scotland for a vacation in December, talked about our future, and spent a few close days together the week of the wedding.

So, he was not my “ex” boyfriend at the time of the wedding. Now I’ll tell my truth. I was told, by Darby Johns, that he would be attending a friend’s wedding and would be going alone. The day of the wedding, I was told by a shocked/dumbfounded friend, who knew that Darby and I were together, that she had seen Darby and Crystal Munoz getting too close to be “just friends.”

After hearing this, I decided I needed to see the situation and the actions that were occurring for myself. So, I showed up to the wedding. In the beginning, I wore a black wig, so that nobody would recognize me. I just wanted to find out what was going on, unnoticed, and leave.

My intention was to SEE what was happening, and if I saw him betraying me, it would have been a way for me to know and understand that our relationship was over. To me, lying to and cheating on someone you love is the utmost betrayal.

Like I stated earlier, I was going to sit down, see if what I heard was true, and then LEAVE. I sat down at a table alone and spotted them. It was quite effortless to spot him, since Crystal was sitting on his lap. I watched them with their arms around each other, laughing, drinking, and even kissing.

When they got up and held hands to walk to the dance floor is when my emotions took over. I picked up a drink, walked to where they were, and poured the drink, intended for Darby, on them. He was the one that had deceived me.

However, Crystal thought the drink being poured was meant for her. I never aimed anything towards her. After this incident, I walked to the bathroom, where I bawled my eyes out because of what I had just witnessed.

While sitting in a bathroom stall crying, I was interrupted by 4 girls yelling and banging on my stall door. I ignored them at first, because I was so disturbed, but one of the girls crawled under my stall door and demanded to know who I was and why I was there.

I opened the stall door, tried to get around the girl on the ground, and I said, “I am here because Darby and Crystal were together, and Darby and I are in a relationship.”

They continued to shout at me and I tried to leave, but I was punched in the face, drug to the ground, and even strangled. Might I add, I was in a car accident just a little over a year ago, where I received an emergency spinal fusion.

I have 2 rods and 7 screws in my back, so imagine being tackled to the ground and the stress my spine received. The girls were eventually pulled off me. I stayed in the bathroom to clean up, and then I was going to leave.

However, when I walked out of the bathroom, Crystal came waltzing my way. At that point, I had my mind set on getting out of there! I tried to ignore her, but she came at me, and I defended myself. I was pulled into the bathroom and made to stay there until the EMS and police arrived. This is when unfairness came into play.

I was told that if I did not press charges on anyone, no charges would be pressed on me. I agreed that I would not press charges, and I waited to be escorted out. When the police arrived, I was arrested and told that Crystal Munoz was pressing battery charges on me.

I was astonished.

I was put in a police officer car and hauled to jail, without being able to give my full statement or being able to press charges. Crystal and the 4 girls that attacked me were let off scot-free, while I spent the night in jail.

The police took statements from Crystal Munoz, Darby Johns, and the hotel manager, who did not witness the incident. The waitstaff, who actually witnessed some of the scene was never asked to give a statement.

Nor myself or any other individuals that might have been able to provide insight as to what happened. I am aware that going to a wedding uninvited is wrong. I am aware that pouring a drink on someone is also wrong.

I just wanted to see if Darby was really cheating, so that I could know it was forever over between us. It was always about him, never Crystal. I never intended for there to be a scene.

After the drink incident, if the girls had not of attacked me, there would never have been such a chaotic scene. I am very apologetic towards the bride and groom, since this happened at their wedding.

Like I said, I never intended for it to have gotten so out of control."


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