It was a Gator vs. a “Bear.”
University of Florida middle linebacker Antonio Morrison was taken into custody early this morning for allegedly barking at a police dog and resisting arrest.
Under Florida law, harassing a police dog is a second degree misdemeanor. Morrison a sophomore, is already on deferred prosecution (a form of pre-trial probation) in connection with a June 16 arrest when he allegedly punched a nightclub bouncer.
Morrison was booked and then released this morning from Alachua County Jail.
The Gators have announced that Morrison has been bounced from the team for the first two games of the season.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Morrison claimed the police K9 started it: “According to the police report, Morrison was a bystander when Gainesville Police responded to a disturbance near an after-hours club where several arrests had been made in the past. Per the report, Officer William A. Arnold had a police canine named ‘Bear’ in the car, and Morrison walked up to the vehicle and began to bark at the dog. Officer Arnold stated Morrison’s actions prevented police from doing their job properly, so Arnold asked Morrison to step to the front of the vehicle. Morrison resisted when the officer tried to handcuff him, the report states. Morrison, 19, told the officer the dog had barked several times at him first.”
This latest arrest could imperil the deferred legal action on the June 16 incident, a charge that would have been dropped if he had stayed out of trouble and completed community service and other court-imposed requirements.
In a statement, Florida football coach Will Muschamp said “I’m extremely disappointed in Antonio Morrison’s decision making.He has been suspended from the team and will miss at least two games to begin the season.”
Morrison had 34 tackles last season, the most for a Gators’ freshman. He was named to the SEC All-Freshmen team.
Added: Here is Taiwan CGI studio Next Media Animation’s satirical take on the Antonio Morrison arrest: