Antonio Morrison, a Gainesville, Florida Gators football player, was arrested Saturday after he was accused of barking at an on-duty police dog, news sources report. A state attorney has already raised questions about whether the arrest was merited. Morrison, 19, was booked into police custody on charges of harassing an on-duty animal and resisting arrest without violence. A judge later released Morrison on his own recognizance. The press did not specify a lawyer for Morrison.
According to reports, Morrison plays college football for the University of Florida Gators. Sources say Morrison was geared to become the football team’s new starting middle linebacker this year. However, pending this latest charge, Gators coach Will Muschamp has suspended Morrison from the team for “at least” two games, reports say. “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,” the Gator’s coach said.
Based on reports, Morrison was arrested on June 16 after he allegedly punched a bar bouncer during an incident at an area club. The charges were deferred in place of six months of probation, which included counseling, fines, and community service. Sources suggest these new charges could interfere with that deferral, however. “Based on my initial review … I am concerned about the legality of the arrest,” a state attorney spokesperson reportedly said. “My office will look into [Morrison’s case] as expeditiously as possible. If there is a crime involved, then the previous deferral is subject to revocation. If not, then that will not likely happen unless there is some other material breech.'”
Reports say the incident in question occurred Saturday evening. Morrison allegedly strolled up to a parked police vehicle, which had its window down. Inside was a police dog named Bear, who, Morrison later said, barked at him. Morrison then reportedly barked at Bear, starting a barking match. Police confronted Morrison and attempted to put him in cuffs, sources say; Morrison allegedly resisted at first but later cooperated.
In other local news, Geraldine Barnard of Bradenton was arrested Wednesday after she allegedly pointed a handgun at her husband as punishment for his visiting a strip club, reports say. Barnard, 53, was booked into the Manatee County Jail on charges of aggravated assault. Her bail was set at $5,000. It is not yet known whether she has hired legal representation.
According to reports, the incident occurred in the wee hours of Tuesday. The husband, whose name was not released, arrived home after an alleged visit to an area strip joint. He was confronted by Barnard, sources say. “The victim stated that when he first walked in and saw the gun pointed at him he was in fear,” a police report apparently says. “He then stated he was no longer afraid after he believed she [did not know] how to fire the handgun.”
The husband took the gun from Barnard and called police. After her arrest, Barnard reportedly confessed to pointing the gun at the victim because he had gone to a strip club. She said she wanted to scare him and knew the gun would not work, reports say.