‘STAYUMBL’ driver surrenders days after skipping Wake court date

May 24, 2019

A Durham woman who has gained notoriety online for erratic driving and the license plate “STAYUMBL” surrendered to Wake County authorities Thursday afternoon – three days after she didn’t show up for a hearing on speeding and reckless driving charges.

Diana Taije Mems was taken into custody at the Wake County Justice Center on a charge of failure to appear.

Prosecutors had asked for a $20,000 bond for Mems, based on her “atrocious” driving record, but a judge lowered it to $10,000. Once she posts bond, she will be required to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

Mems, 50, also was ordered to surrender her driver’s license.

She has become infamous on social media, where dozens of posts point out the “STAYUMBL” plate and criticize her driving. Some people accuse her of trying to force other drivers to rear-end her vehicle.

Last month, a school bus driver in Durham posted a video that showed the “STAYUMBL” car pulling in front of the bus and stopping suddenly on a two-lane road to block the bus. A woman got out of the car with a cellphone to record the incident as she pointed at the back of her car.

Mems was cited with reckless driving, improper passing and impeding traffic in that incident and is expected to be in traffic court in Durham on Friday.

WRAL News learned that Mems changed her license plate after receiving the citations.

Attorney John Fitzpatrick Jr. said Mems is being portrayed unfairly on social media and said her case should have been resolved a while ago.

“To the social media people, we appreciate you, but let the facts play out in court,” Fitzpatrick said. “All of these allegations that are brought out on social media about things she’s done, there’s not one charge. If you have all this evidence, where are the charges?”

There are two sides to every story, he said, and Mems’ side hasn’t been heard.

A Durham Police Department investigator who has been reviewing Mems’ driving record in recent months determined she’s been involved in 31 crashes since 2000. He said he found no evidence that any of the crashes was staged to collect insurance money, but the Wake County District Attorney’s Office and the state Department of Insurance are reviewing Mems’ history.

A review of Mems’ overall criminal record by WRAL News shows nearly 140 charges in North Carolina since the mid-1980s, many under aliases such as Diana Tai Ray, Diana Maria Zorro and Deanna Jean Ray. She’s been convicted 28 times on charges ranging from passing bad checks and credit card fraud to breaking and entering and larceny, according to state Department of Public Safety records.

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