Evan Walker was arrested in Gainsville, Florida for allegedly stealing a taco from a street vendor on Friday, March 30. The Florida Gators basketball player, who just finished a fourth season on the team, was charged with petty theft and resisting an officer without violence. He is due in court on April 19. It is not clear whether Mr. Walker, 22, has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
According to the arrest report, the incident occurred on Friday at approximately 1:00 a.m. at 100 South Main Street, where the taco vendor was located, and ended three blocks away on 200 West University Avenue. Walker allegedly ordered a taco from a street vendor, and when the vendor handed him the taco, he ran off without paying. When police approached him and told him to stop, Walker allegedly ignored them and kept going. He was finally apprehended with the help of several deputies in patrol cars.
The arrest report indicates that when police officers caught up with Walker, he told them that he was “just playing around,” and it further explains that Walker “stated when he ran off with the taco he knew that he had not paid for it and that he was stealing food.” The possible involvement of drugs or alcohol in the incident are not mentioned in the report.
Walker had been arrested once before in Gainsville. In 2008, he was arrested for resisting an officer without violence. It is not clear what incident the charge was in connection to. Walker ended up pleading nolo contendre (similar to pleading no contest) to the charge.
Walker, who has played for the Gators for four years, has started at point guard for the past three years. The 5’8″ basketball player is ranked 24th on Florida’s all-time scoring list.
Walker was not the only Florida athlete to run into trouble with the law this weekend. Just a few days prior, Koa Misi, NFL linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, was arrested in connection to a 1-year-old incident in which he allegedly punched through a wooden front door, entered a residence and hit a sleeping man in the eye. The police report indicates that he did this in reciprocation after the man in question hurled insults at him and his friends from a balcony above the street.
Misi, 25, was arrested at 8:00 a.m. at his home in Weston, Florida on an out-of-state warrant issued by the Santa Barbara justice system. The incident in question allegedly occurred near the University of California Santa Barbara campus as Misi and three friends, one male and two female, were passing by an apartment complex. After getting into a verbal argument with the 19-year-old victim and his friends, who were allegedly shouting insults from the upstairs balcony, Misi allegedly got angry and entered the residence before attacking the man.
The police report goes on to say that when three women inside the apartment demanded that Misi pay for the damage to the front door and threatened to call police, Misi grabbed one of the women’s cell phones and threw it to the ground. He will be tried in California.