Cunningham, Demps charged with misdemeanor battery
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham and a former teammate were arrested Wednesday on a misdemeanor battery charge because they allegedly hit a restaurant worker with a sandwich and cups, police said.
Former LSU track star and Olympic hopeful Xavier Carter was also charged with resisting arrest without violence, a misdemeanor.
Cunningham, Carter and former Gators linebacker Jon Demps were released Wednesday afternoon on their own recognizance. They were ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.
Carter was also ordered to have no contact with Demps or Cunningham.
Gainesville police said Cunningham and Demps were arrested after a restaurant employee told officers the players harassed him when told they needed to pay for a bag of chips. The two became verbally abusive toward the man and hit him with a sandwich and empty soda cups, according to a police report.
Demps and Cunningham fled the area. They were later found on the Florida campus.
An officer saw Carter walking with Cunningham. According to police, Carter ran when a patrol car's lights started flashing.
Carter was arrested a few minutes later.
Florida coach Urban Meyer, whose Gators play Michigan in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day, said he would wait for more details before deciding whether to punish Cunningham.
"Once I know the whole thing, I will let you know what we are going to do, how serious it was," Meyer said. "I am kind of getting some reports. Complete ignorance is what it sounds like, which I guess in my world I have to deal with a lot of ignorance."
Cunningham, a sophomore, is tied for the team lead with 6½ sacks and is third with 62 tackles.
Demps was a sophomore at Florida last year but left the team after the season.
Meyer, who has had nine players arrested since January, said he spoke to his team about making better decisions.
"I talked to them about it, but I am not going to be out chasing them around and all that," Meyer said. "What I have to do is really develop and recruit guys I think are going to be going to bed at night. I was also in college at one time and know what goes on. We have to keep teaching them.
"I will either eliminate them or discipline them and try not to let it happen again," he said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Nike Men's Florida Gators Grey Football Practice Legend T-shirt