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July 21, 2013

Sophomore linebacker arrested again



Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison found himself in Alachua County Jail for the second time in 35 days Sunday morning.

Just more than one month after being arrested on a battery charge for punching a bouncer outside a Gainesville bar, Morrison was arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly harassing a police animal and resisting arrest without violence. He was booked into Alachua County Jail at 4:15 Sunday morning and released a few hours later on his own recognizance.

Harassing a police animal is a second-degree misdemeanor. Resisting arrest without violence is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Florida coach Will Muschamp announced midday Sunday Morrison is suspended from the Gators for his actions.

"I'm extremely disappointed in Antonio Morrison's decision-making," he said in an official statement. "He has been suspended from the team and will miss at least two games to begin the season."

Florida opens the season at home against Toledo and travels to Miami in week two.

Police responded to an unrelated incident at the Scottish Inns Motel, which is next door to an "after-hours business," at which the police report said several arrests have been made in the past. Officer William Arnold left his K9 partner, Bear, in the car as he began to inspect the unrelated incident.

According to the police report, Morrison walked up to the open window of a police car and began barking at the dog. Arnold said Morrison resisted his initial attempts to handcuff him.

Morrison reportedly told Arnold several times he made a "woof-woof" noise at the dog because the dog barked at him first.

On June 28, Morrison accepted deferred prosecution for his battery charge. That charge will be dismissed if Morrison pays a $100 payment to the state for court costs, a $150 donation to CDS Family & Behavioral Services, does 12 hours of community service, completes a Florida drug and alcohol abuse course, attends an anger management program and participates in two ride-alongs with UF police.

Muschamp announced Tuesday he had not decided whether Morrison's first arrest would result in any missed time on the football field. Morrison, a sophomore, is listed as Florida's starting middle linebacker this year. Morrison played in all 13 games as a freshman, starting three games and making 34 tackles.

"You educate the student-athlete about making a better decision the next time around," Muschamp said at the time. "I haven't made any decision as far as playing time. To me it's not about playing time. It's about educating the young man."


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