Harris facing two felony charges

Updated: June 23, 2009, 12:59 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

Florida State backup linebacker Maurice Harris was arrested Monday night and charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor, according to Major Jim Russell of the Florida State University Police Department.

Harris, who was charged with grand theft, possessing a vehicle with altered numbers and a non-moving traffic violation, has been suspended indefinitely, the university announced Tuesday.

"We're suspending Maurice Harris, indefinitely, beginning today until the matter has been resolved," coach Bobby Bowden said in a statement.

The university said it would have no further comment.

On June 17, university parking services put an immobilization device -- basically a parking boot -- on a motorcycle on the FSU campus. The boots are used when drivers have outstanding parking fees or lingering fines that have to be paid. On June 18, parking services noticed the motorcycle and the boot were gone, according to police.

"Those things are $300 or more apiece," Russell said. "If someone takes them off, that's considered to be a theft."

On Monday, parking services noticed the motorcycle parked near Gate A the stadium and notified the police at 4:34 p.m.

An officer contacted strength and conditioning coach Todd Stroud, who had borrowed the motorcycle from Harris earlier in the day. Stroud brought Harris in to talk to the officer, but Harris refused to talk to him and denied knowing anything about the boot, according to police.

The vehicle identification number had also been scratched off, so Harris was charged with possession of a vehicle with altered numbers. The paper tag on the bike was also not assigned to it, so that was a misdemeanor charge. The theft of the boot and the other charge were both felonies.

The motorcycle has been impounded, but police still aren't sure to whom it belongs.

"Without any other information, we don't know who it belongs to at this point," Russell said. "We haven't gotten to the bottom of that."

Harris, a redshirt sophomore, has only played in six career games, and he's been hindered by injuries. He played in three games in 2007 but injured his knee, and a nagging ankle injury limited him to three games last year.

Harris is the latest in a line of Seminoles to be suspended this offseason. Receiver Richard Goodman is also facing a felony charge after an on-campus fight in November 2008 between members of the football team and members of a fraternity. Receiver Rod Owens has been suspended indefinitely after he was charged with a DUI.

Florida State is also facing an uphill battle against the NCAA in its appeal of the sanction it must vacate as many as 14 wins for a highly publicized cheating scandal in an online music course.

Heather Dinich covers college sports for ESPN.com.