Williams, 19, charged with misdemeanor battery

Updated: February 13, 2004, 10:49 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

MIAMI -- Top Miami recruit Willie Williams surrendered Tuesday after more criminal charges were added to a record of 10 arrests the university didn't know about when it signed him.

Williams turned himself in at the Broward County Jail on an arrest warrant that charged he violated probation in a 2002 burglary case, sheriff's spokesman Jim Leljedal said.

Williams will be held without bail until a Friday hearing to determine whether to allow Williams to be released on bond or jailed until his final probation violation hearing -- about 30 to 60 days from now.

He's fine," Williams' lawyer, Paul Lazarus, who accompanied him to the jail, told the Sun-Sentinel of South Florida. "Obviously he'd rather not be where he is, but he's going to make the best of the situation."

The 19-year-old player was charged Monday with felony malicious damage to fire extinguishers, misdemeanor criminal mischief and misdemeanor battery at a hotel on a recruiting trip to the University of Florida over Super Bowl weekend.

The felony charge carries a possible five-year state prison sentence, and misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in the county jail.

In response, Miami athletic director Paul Dee suspended the processing of Williams' admissions application. He did not say how long the delay would last. No decision has been made on whether to revoke Williams' athletic scholarship.

"(Willie) knows these are very serious matters and they can absolutely affect his college career and affect the rest of his life," Lazarus, said at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Williams' record and complaints about his Gainesville trip were revealed Feb. 4, the same day he signed his letter of intent with Miami.

He is accused of setting off three fire extinguishers in his hotel, grabbing a woman against her will and hitting a man at a bar in a span of five hours.

According to the warrant for his arrest, Williams is also accused of "fail[ing]to file a full and truthful report to his probation officer ... in Broward County on Feb. 5 ... He noted on his written monthly report that he did not have any contact with law enforcement during the previous month [of] January, 2004," the Miami Herald reported.

Miami was unaware of his arrest record dating to age 14 and has acknowledged lapses in its background checks. Williams chose Miami over Florida State, Florida and Auburn. Florida and Florida State say they didn't know about his record, either.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.