February 15, 2010
While you were jogging, making breakfast, getting ready for church or catching a few extra winks Sunday morning, Florida defensive tackle Gary Brown -- a top-ranked, blue-chip recruit in 2009 expected to move into the Gators' defensive tackle rotation this fall after a redshirt year -- reportedly wasn't about to let the party die just because of a little sunlight, according to the Orlando Sentinel:
Alachua County Sheriff’s Office arrested Brown, 19, at 7:23 a.m. after his open hand struck the face of a woman trying to kick people out of a party, according to the police report. Another woman intervened and got scratched by Brown as he attempted to slap her arms away, according to the report.
The party took place at The Crossing at Santa Fe apartments on NW 83rd Street in Gainesville. Brown spent all of Sunday in Alachua County Jail, likely awaiting Monday morning’s first appearance in front of a judge. His bond is set at zero.
The co-defendant on Brown’s police report faces a felony charge of larceny grand theft of a fire extinguisher. An Alachua Sheriff’s Office clerk said the extinguisher was allegedly used to spray people.
The alleged dawn rampage earned Brown two counts of misdemeanor battery and an indefinite suspension from team activities; neither woman required medical attention (though if the account is accurate I wouldn't mind buying the second girl, who apparently entered the fray after a 280-pound defensive tackle allegedly slapped the first, a drink or two -- when she's of legal age, of course). No word on any injuries related to the fire extinguisher.
The Alachua County Jail is getting efficient with Gator mug shots -- Brown is at least the 27th Florida player to face misdemeanor or felony charges for various offenses since Urban Meyer took over in 2005. Quite a few of those charges -- most recently, against offensive lineman Carl Johnson and cornerback Janoris Jenkins in separate cases last year -- were eventually dropped after their well-publicized arrests. As with all accusations, the charges against Brown could very well meet the same fate. But as we hit the slow season on the college football beat, my guess is the next round of those finger-wagging "Program Out of Control?" pieces are only a felony away.
Of course, Urban can put off the "vacation" thing if they need him to hang around a little longer. He doesn't mind. Really. If, you know, the media starts calling around with tough questions or Steve Addazzio doesn't feel comfortable doling out discipline in the interim role or whatever, just pick up the phone ... OK, seriously, Meyer's back. Let's get to work.