MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Just a week after the University of Miami finished its first spring practice under new head coach Mark Richt, the team got some bad news when sophomore running back Mark Walton was arrested Saturday.
Walton was arrested for driving under the influence after he was stopped by Miami Police in Coral Gables near S.W. 27th Terrace and S.W. 30th Court. In their arrest report, they said Walton’s breath smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and nearly lost his balance when exiting his vehicle.
He was charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license.
According to police reports, Walton had “bloodshot and watery eyes” and was “slurring his speech” when officers pulled him over early Saturday morning. The arrest affidavit also said that Walton “nearly fell” when asked to walk to the back of his vehicle.
Walton was given a breathalyzer test, where the 19 year-old blew levels of 0.059 and 0.060. Those numbers are under the Florida limits for those 21 and older, but for underaged drinkers the limit in Florida is 0.02.
Investigations are on-going as reports also surfaced that Walton was impersonating an officer.
Walton played in all 13 games this past season and finished the season with 1,054 all-purpose yards and a team-leading 10 touchdowns. Because of his versatility and ability to get tough yards, he was the presumed favorite to be the No. 1 ball carrier for the Canes in 2016 – emerging in a crowded backfield of 2015 leading rusher Joe Yearby and a healthy Gus Edwards.
The school released a statement regarding the Miami Booker T. Washington alum’s arrest.
“We are aware of the situation regarding Mark Walton and we have taken immediate action by suspending him from the team,” Miami Athletics Director Blake James said in a statement. “We have no further comment at this time.”
Walton is the third University of Miami football player to be arrested in Richt’s short tenure. Offensive linemen Jahair Jones and Trevor Darling were arrested in Miami Beach in March, but both had their charges dropped.