Wilson charged with aggravated assault, battery

Updated: April 5, 2007, 5:00 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida offensive lineman Ronnie Matthew Wilson was arrested Thursday, accused of firing a semiautomatic rifle in the air during a dispute with another man that started in a nightclub.

Wilson, 19, has been suspended from team activities, coach Urban Meyer said. Wilson was charged with aggravated assault, simple battery and the use or display of a concealed weapon during the commission of a felony, according to jail records.

"Obviously, this is a major concern," Meyer said.

The victim, whose name was not released, said Wilson spit on him and slapped him on the right side of his face inside the XS nightclub. Wilson told police he had spit on the victim but denied hitting him.

When Wilson left the club, the victim followed him in his car and called police to give them vehicle information. According to a police report, Wilson pulled into a parking lot, where he took the rifle out of his trunk and fired one shot in the air because he wanted the other man "to know how it felt to be scared."

Fearing he would be shot, the victim ducked down and put his car into reverse. As he was going backward, he heard a gunshot, the report said.

Police said the victim left the parking lot and was followed by Wilson, who broke off the chase when he saw police cars.

According to the report, Wilson then went to an apartment complex and hid the rifle and magazine in his cousin's apartment, where they were recovered by police.

Wilson was being held in the Alachua County Jail awaiting his first court appearance. It was not known if he had a lawyer.

The university's sports information office said it had no comment on the arrest.

Wilson, 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, enrolled as a redshirt freshman in the spring of 2005.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press