FSU quarterback Jameis Winston cited for stealing crab legs, reports say

Suspended from baseball team for incident


MIAMI (CNN) -- Florida State University quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was cited for allegedly taking seafood from a Tallahassee grocery store without paying, the Leon County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Winston, a two-sport athlete, was suspended from FSU's baseball team on Wednesday.

Winston, only the second freshman to win college football's most coveted award, allegedly walked into a Publix near the FSU campus Tuesday night, ordered about $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish, and walked out of the store without paying, sheriff's Maj. Michael Wood told reporters.

After deputies contacted him about three hours later, Winston told them that he forgot to pay, Wood said.

"He was very cooperative," Wood said. "Seemed fairly honest in the fact that he did not pay for the items, so it was not a huge mystery to solve."

As part of the civil citation for alleged shoplifting -- an alternative to criminal prosecution for first-time, nonviolent offenses in the county -- Winston was not arrested but has been ordered to serve at least 20 hours of community service, Wood said.

CNN's call to the university's athletic department was not immediately returned.

"I am confident he will complete his community service obligation and the situation will be resolved soon," FSU baseball coach Mike Martin said in a news release.

The school's football coach, Jimbo Fisher, said, "I fully support Coach Martin's decision and will also make sure that Jameis meets all obligations, which I know he will."

Wood said Winston "most likely" will have to pay Publix the $32, noting that restitution usually is part of the citation program.

A Publix employee noticed Winston left without paying but waited a while to notify a deputy, thinking Winston might have gone outside to get a cart, Wood said.

Wood said civil citations, as opposed to criminal charges, can be given in similar cases at deputies' discretion, and when the store and the suspect agree to terms. Publix and Winston agreed to this citation, Wood said.

He said the sheriff's office has issued 32 civil citations "for very similar crimes" since December.

Winston won the Heisman in December, a month after a Florida prosecutor announced no charges would be filed over a woman's allegation that Winston raped her in 2012.

The prosecutor said authorities did not even have probable cause to arrest Winston in the case. The accuser alleged Winston had raped her after she had been drinking with friends at a bar; Winston maintained that the sexual activity was consensual.

Jameis Winston released this statement Wednesday afternoon:

As reported in the news, last night I received an adult civil citation for petit theft from a local supermarket. I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner but made a terrible mistake for which I’m taking full responsibility. In a moment of youthful ignorance, I walked out of the store without paying for one of my items.

I realize that I am in the public spotlight and my conduct needs to be above reproach. Over the last year I’ve learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends, and family. At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day. I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation. I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20 year old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation.

I am grateful to be able to participate in the adult citation program where I will complete community service.


CNN's Alina Machado reported from Miami. Mariano Castillo wrote the story in Atlanta. CNN's Jason Hanna and Javier De Diego contributed to this report.

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