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March 16, 2014

GPD Report: Debose breaks up violent dispute

What, according to police reports, began as four people having a meal turned into an ugly dispute capped off by gunfire Saturday evening. Florida wide receiver Andre Debose, officially cleared Wednesday for his sixth year of eligibility, was present but was not found guilty of any wrongdoing and was released after being interview by the Gainesville Police Department.

According to GPD release, Debose was eating with three people who included John Mark Honeycutt, 23, and Victor Watkins II, 24. An argument between Debose and Watkins led to Watkins pushing Debose into a window.

Watkins' actions angered Honeycutt, who grabbed a handgun and threatened to shoot Watkins. Per the release, that's when Watkins grabbed the handgun from Honeycutt and fired rounds into the ground outside of the house. Honeycutt then reportedly grabbed a rifle and fired rounds into Watkins' SUV and into the ground. Police reported to the scene at 6:30 p.m.

GPD detectives brought the three men as well as a present female in for interviews. Only Honeycutt was arrested. He was booked at 1:49 a.m. on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, a third-degree felony.

Debose, Watkins and the female were all released.

Sunday morning, the GPD released incorrect info naming Debose as the man who had pushed a victim through a window. The information was picked up by the Gainesville Television Network, a local news channel. GPD public information officer Ben Tobias later released the corrected information, as well as an apology via his Twitter account. "I was sent incorrect information and didn't realize names were transposed," he tweeted. Soon after Tobias released an additional apology, and noted Debose tried multiple times to break up the dispute.

Tobias wrote -- "To Mr. Debose: I apologize that my error put your name and reputation in jeopardy, no matter how briefly. I take full responsibility for this error, and hope that the stories printed and published will correct your name and reputation. Furthermore, I am extremely proud that you intervened in this incident and likely prevented anyone from being injured or killed."

Debose has never been cited for anything more than traffic violations during his time in Gainesville.

Honeycutt was arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession and misdemeanor drug equipment possession on Feb. 27, 2011. He completed deferred prosecution on Nov. 3, 2011.

Watkins was arrested for misdemeanor possession of drug equipment on July 5, 2011. He was found guilty. He was again arrested on first-degree misdemeanor battery charges on Dec. 29, 2011, but the victim did not wish to prosecute and the case was dropped in April 2012. A charge of obstructing an officer without violence stemming from April 2012 was dropped in March 2013.

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