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Heisman winner Winston accused of shoplifting crab legs

By Brent Kallestad

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:25 a.m. HST, May 01, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. >> Florida State's Heisman Trophy quarterback Jameis Winston was issued a civil citation after sheriff's deputies said he walked out of a supermarket without paying for $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish.

The 20-year-old Winston ordered the food at the deli in a Tallahassee-area Publix on Tuesday night, Leon County Sheriff's Maj. Michael Wood said Wednesday. After receiving the order, he left the store without paying.

Wood said Publix employees called deputies, who went to Winston's apartment. Wood said Winston acknowledged not paying for the food, saying he forgot.

After consulting with Publix managers, deputies issued Winston a civil citation that will require him to complete at least 20 hours of community service. If he does that, no criminal charges will be filed. He will also likely have to pay restitution.

"The facts are not in dispute," Wood said. "He left without paying."  

Wood said Winston was cooperative.

"He indicated to the deputies he had forgotten and when he got home he realized that he had not paid, but in fact he had made no effort to contact Publix or return to pay prior to the deputies' arrival" three hours after Winston left the store, Wood said.

Winston issued a statement through his lawyer saying he had intended to pay, "but made a terrible mistake for which I'm taking full responsibility. In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items.

"I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach."

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Winston led Florida State to an undefeated season and national football championship. For the season, he passed for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, completing nearly 67 percent of his throws.

Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin suspended Winston indefinitely until he completes the program. Winston is a relief pitcher for the Seminoles. Football coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement that he supports Martin's decision.

Winston was cleared in December of potential sexual assault charges by State Attorney Willie Meggs, who concluded there were too many gaps in the accuser's story. Meggs said that the woman's memory was faulty and that there was not enough evidence of a crime to win a conviction.

The woman claimed she was assaulted before Winston became a star. The investigation lagged for months after Tallahassee Police Department officials said they were told the accuser wanted to drop the case, but the woman's lawyer denied that. The accuser's lawyers have said the police department botched the investigation because detectives didn't quickly identify possible witnesses or obtain surveillance tape from the bar where the victim says she was first approached by Florida State football players.

The university is also facing a federal investigation into how it handled the rape accusation.

Although it was the most serious accusation, the sexual assault case was not Winston's only brush with the law in Tallahassee.

In November 2012, police were called to an apartment complex in which 13 windows had been damaged by BB guns. Winston and his roommate at the time said Florida State players were engaged in a series of "battles" with each other, although they denied shooting BB guns themselves. Winston was not charged with any crime.

In another incident, police records show Winston came into a Burger King with three men but did not order food, instead asking for a water cup he repeatedly filled with soda over an employee's objections. The report says Winston was never interviewed about the incident because the restaurant declined to prosecute.

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iwanaknow wrote:
............."...I need to be above reproach"...................Brother, that is the key to success in life.................walk the talk!
on April 30,2014 | 11:40AM
paniolo wrote:
So he walked out the store carrying the package/packages and "forgot" to take out his wallet to pay. Nice try... Next time you go in a store, put the wallet in your mouth, you might remember to pay before leaving. LOLO...
on April 30,2014 | 11:47AM
Anonymous wrote:
This guy is on the verge of becoming a multi-millionaire and is acting like he is living on the streets, scraping for every little thing. I guess "old habits are hard to break".
on April 30,2014 | 12:01PM
palani wrote:
Hopefully, his potential for redemption from a thug culture has not been diminished by his foolish "indiscretions". As far as the soda theft issue, I see people at the Costco snack bar steal drinks almost every time I'm at the Iwilei location.
on April 30,2014 | 01:30PM
kekelaward wrote:
Rape is not an "indiscretion"
on April 30,2014 | 05:32PM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
Colleges should not be football farms. That is what they have become. This individual just shows what is exactly wrong with our colleges. Colleges should be a place for higher learning. It should not be a football farm churning out athletes at the expense of students who go there to learn. If anything, these athletic "programs" should be removed from colleges so that they may focus on what they are there for, schools of academic learning. The private sector should be the ones creating football programs and whatever they make should be shared with the players as well as the staff. The NFL has gone too long from benefiting from this relationship with colleges at the expense of tax payers. The NFL does not in turn invest in the colleges. They reap billions of dollars from this relationship where most colleges pay to basically play. And some colleges have become juggernauts receiving tons of money at the expense of athletes and tax payers.
on April 30,2014 | 12:46PM
Ripoff wrote:
haha idiot
on April 30,2014 | 01:05PM
huponews wrote:
Eh Jimbo... At least buy Winston some crab legs...or a booster. How embarrassing, the freshman Heisman Trophy winner. What happens to a college player when they are charged with theft....history! Let's see the slap on the wrist?
on April 30,2014 | 01:51PM
huponews wrote:
Ohhhh, guess they don't serve crab legs at FSU, training table? Winston, transfer to UH, we can get you some every night, king crab even....forgot, it's not football season yet. No training table, hahaha!
on April 30,2014 | 01:57PM
PokeStop wrote:
Hey Famous Jameis, you forgot to take the collard greens and cornbread! Next time stick to the Waffle House!
on April 30,2014 | 02:09PM
lowtone123 wrote:
He didn't want to go to bed starving.
on April 30,2014 | 02:22PM
huponews wrote:
Good one! After reading the end of this article....this kid has some issues huh! S, on the forehead.
on April 30,2014 | 03:48PM
kauaiguy wrote:
Couldn't he pay for the crab w/ all the 200 dollar handshakes he gets?
on May 1,2014 | 11:03AM
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