TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – Florida State University suspended quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston after he was cited for allegedly shoplifting on Tuesday.
Florida State baseball coach Mike Miller suspended Winston indefinitely. Winston is a relief pitcher for the Seminoles. Football coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement that he supports Miller’s decision.
Winston was issued a civil citation after sheriff’s deputies say he walked out of a Publix supermarket without paying for $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish.
“As reported in the news, last night I received an adult civil citation for petit theft from a local supermarket. I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake for which I’m taking full responsibility. In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items,” said Winston in a statement.
He went on to say that he realizes that he’s in the public eye and his actions need to be above reproach.
“Over the last year I’ve learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends, and family. At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day,” said Winston. “I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation. I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20-year-old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation.”
Leon County Sheriff’s Maj. Michael Wood said Wednesday that the 20-year-old Winston ordered the food at the deli in the Tallahassee-area supermarket on Tuesday night. After receiving the order, he left the store without paying.
Wood said Publix employees called deputies, who went to Winston’s apartment. Wood saidWinston acknowledged not paying for the food, saying he forgot.
After consulting with Publix managers, deputies issued Winston a civil citation that will require him to complete at least 20 hours of community service. If he does that, no criminal charges will be filed.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Winston led Florida State to an undefeated season and national football championship. For the season, he passed for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, completing nearly 67 percent of his throws.
Winston was cleared in December of potential sexual assault charges by State Attorney Willie Meggs, who concluded there were too many gaps in the accuser’s story. Meggs said that the woman’s memory was faulty and that there was not enough evidence of a crime to win a conviction.
The woman claimed she was assaulted before Winston became a star. The investigation lagged for months after Tallahassee Police Department officials said they were told the accuser wanted to drop the case, but the woman’s lawyer denied that. The accuser’s lawyers have said the police department botched the investigation because detectives didn’t quickly identify possible witnesses or obtain surveillance tape from the bar where the victim says she was first approached by Florida State football players.
Although it was the most serious accusation, the sexual assault case was not Winston’s only brush with the law in Tallahassee.
In November 2012, police were called to an apartment complex in which 13 windows had been damaged by BB guns. Winston and his roommate at the time said Florida State players were engaged in a series of “battles” with each other, although they denied shooting BB guns themselves. Winston was not charged with any crime.
In another incident, police records show Winston came into a Burger King with three men but did not order food, instead asking for a water cup he repeatedly filled with soda over an employee’s objections. The report says Winston was never interviewed about the incident because the restaurant declined to prosecute.
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