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Third Gator run-in with law this week

7/21/2004 - Florida Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida linebacker Taurean Charles
remained in jail Wednesday, a day after he was arrested at a June off-campus party and charged with aggravated battery, a second-degree felony.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley immediately suspended the
19-year-old Charles from the team, saying his status would be
determined "as we gather more information."

Charles was arrested Tuesday and was being held at Alachua
County Jail on $10,000 bond. It was not known if he had a lawyer.

Charles was the third Florida player suspended for an arrest
this week.

On Tuesday, linebacker Channing Crowder and safety Jarvis
Herring were suspended for the season opener after both were
arrested for scuffling with police outside a local nightclub
earlier this summer.

A sophomore from Miami, Charles punched a Florida student in the
side of the head without provocation at the party June 13,
according to a police report. The blow knocked the student, Dane
Eagle, off a wooden deck onto the ground, leaving him
semiconscious, the report said.

Charles then picked up a partially full keg of beer and tried to
throw it on Eagle's head, the report said. A witness partially
deflected the keg, but Eagle sustained a concussion, a broken nose
that required corrective surgery and multiple stitches to his head,
the report said.

"It could have been much more serious," Gainesville Police
spokesman Sgt. Keith Kameg said. "... He's lucky someone was there
to deflect it in some way. That's why the charge is so severe."

Two Florida offensive linemen -- Anthony Guerrero and Carlton
Medder -- are listed as witnesses on the police report.

Gainesville police detective John Nabet said more than a month
passed between the incident and Charles' arrest because he was on
vacation in June and had to interview a number of people when he
began working on the case.

Nabet said sworn complaints for misdemeanor offenses would be
filed against two more Florida football players involved in the
fight, but he would not identify them because the investigation is
unfinished. He said more than 10 players were at the party.

It is the second time in a little more than a year Charles, a
backup linebacker and special teams player, was arrested for an
off-the-field incident. He pleaded no contest in June 2003 to a
simple battery charge in an altercation with a female UF student in
her dorm room in March of that year.

He served one year of probation, underwent anger management
counseling and was suspended from the season opener for that
misdemeanor charge. It was not known if the current charges were in
violation of that probation.