MIAMI (CBSMiami) – One of the nation’s top high school track athletes walked out of jail following his arrest Monday for allegedly trying to steal rental cars near Miami International Airport.READ MORE: Miami's Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk Drew Thousands
“Wrong place, wrong time, for sure. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong crowd,” said track star Tyrese Cooper, who holds several records and is ranked among the best high school sprinters in the country.
According to the arrest report, Cooper along with five other teenagers, was spotted casing the third floor of the Miami Intermodal Center off LeJeune and 25th St., by a Hertz manager.
Police say the teens were in an unauthorized area and the manager saw
“chains cut from the concrete barricades exactly where the codefendants vehicle was parked.”
There have been several incidents where chains have been cut in order to steal rental cars from the facility according to police.READ MORE: COVID Sniffing Dogs Helped Out At Pinecrest Jazz Festival
Cooper offered this explanation outside of jail: “Picking up two friends,” said Cooper. “No cars were stolen. No cars were missing.”
Cooper’s track coach, who says he was heart broken upon hearing about the arrest, says the 18-year-old has an impressive track record as one of the fosters runners in the world.
“He has his age group world record for the 200 meters indoors at 16. He has the freshmen national record as a freshman. He has the freshman national record as a sophomore in the 200 and 400,” said Coach D. who not only coached Cooper but also took him into his home for four years.
His coach tells us the junior at Norland Senior High was just offered a football scholarship to Florida State. Cooper hopes his arrest doesn’t affect that scholarships or any future offers.
“I hope none of my scholarships get taken away from me because of this incident. Most likely they’ll be dismissed because I have a great lawyer,” said Cooper.
He was set to compete at the state championships this Friday.MORE NEWS: Doral Police Need Help Finding Missing Man Thomas Graham
Cooper was charged with attempted grand theft, possession of burglary tools, littering and prowling and criminal mischief.