Several Florida football players are facing possible university discipline after an on-campus confrontation involving a Gainesville-area gambler, airsoft guns and lying to police, according to a report from First Coast News.
According to the report, the confrontation occurred outside of a on-campus residential complex on May 28 between several Gators players and Devante’ Zachery, a Gainesville-area gambler better known as “Tay Bang,” and his friends.
From First Coast News:
University police began their investigation after a witness called 911 in reference to a suspicious person. The witness said he saw 10 people arguing and believed they had guns. The witness added, “the weapons resemble assault rifles.”
The scene was captured on surveillance and cell phone video, the 17-page incident report states. The video shows “about 10–15 individuals, holding what appeared to be weapons,” according to the report.
Zachery, 21, and his friends were waiting for the football players near the dorms. The football players began to confront the group, but left in vehicles, the report states. As the group left, they could be heard yelling, “We coming back strapped,” the report states.
The other group returned and a confrontation ensued. One player reported the group had a baseball bat, a red laser being pointed at another player’s chest and another individual threatening “Come any closer, I’ll spray you.”
Zachery told police, he observed one football player holding “some sort of assault rifle and some others were [holding] rocks.” Police wrote, they didn’t believe Zachery’s story and thought he was minimizing the incidents he was describing, the report states.
According to the player, once they heard police sirens, and everyone left.
Apparently, the whole incident started after Florida tight end C’yontai Lewis’ “good relationship” with Zachary “went sour.” According to the report, Zachary started calling the football team “garbage” and would complain about losing money he had bet on football games when they started losing.
Lewis quit associating with Zachary, and the issues “initially began with some joking around, but has since become more aggressive.”
The Florida players in question
Six other players were involved with the confrontation with Lewis, according to the report.
Wide receivers Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells, tight end Kemore Gamble and four-star freshman quarterback Emory Jones were all recommended to the Florida Student Conduct and Conflict resolution department for lying to police about the incident. Wide receivers Kadarius Toney and defensive tackle Kyree Campbell were recommended to the same resolution department for after holding and pointing what appears to be assault rifles (later determined to be airsoft rifles) at other individuals on campus.”
None of the players listed in the report were charged with a crime.
All of the players initially denied any involvement in the incident, and police were not able to find any bullets at the scene when searching for evidence. They did, however, find a frying pan that was seen being used on camera by one of the athletes.
Toney’s airsoft gun resembled an AR15, according to the report, and had the orange tip painted mostly black so it looked like a real rifle. Tay Bang was given a “no trespass warning” from university property that lasts for three years.
“We were made aware of the incident when it occurred and immediately began following campus protocol,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said in a statement. “This has been an opportunity for us to educate our players about the dangers and negative perceptions that can occur when conflict arises, and how important honesty and good decision making is.”
Other recent legal troubles
This isn’t the first brush with the law for the Gators’ football team this week.
Freshman Justin Watkins is facing four charges, including two felonies, after he was arrested on Tuesday on third-degree felony charges of kidnapping/false imprisonment and domestic battery by strangulation.
The arrest was his second in three months. He was arrested in May after “allegedly kicking a woman’s car and breaking her cellphone” during an argument.
The four-star recruit has been suspended.
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