Third Gator run-in with law this week
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.
Charles punched a Florida student in the side of the head without provocation at a 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.
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.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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