State attorney drops charge against Gators DE Cunningham

Updated: December 19, 2007, 8:37 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A misdemeanor battery charge against Florida defensive end Jermaine Cunningham was dropped Wednesday, two weeks after he was arrested for allegedly hitting a restaurant worker with a sandwich and cups.

Charges against former LSU track star and Olympic hopeful Xavier Carter and former Gators linebacker Jon Demps were still pending.

"We interviewed the victim and took his sworn testimony and he was very positive to us that Cunningham did nothing," State Attorney Bill Cervone said. "That is consistent with Cunningham's version through his lawyer and also consistent with other witnesses."

Gainesville Police arrested Cunningham and Demps early Dec. 5, after a restaurant employee said they harassed him when told they needed to pay for a bag of chips.

According to a police report, the two became verbally abusive toward the man and hit him with a sandwich and empty soda cups.

Demps and Cunningham fled the area. They were later found on the Florida campus. Cunningham was walking with Carter, who was arrested after he ran from police.

Cunningham, a sophomore, is tied for the team lead with 6 1/2 sacks and is third with 62 tackles. He is expected to play Jan. 1, when the Gators (No. 12 BCS, No. 9 AP) face Michigan in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press