Hours prior to a 2012 “BB gun battle” that resulted in 13 broken windows and $4,200 worth of damage to his apartment complex, Jameis Winston and teammate/roomate Christopher Casher were detained by police at gunpoint for carrying a firearm on campus. USA Today obtained a police report that documents the full situation.
According to the report, police were alerted to two men in possession of a long-barreled handgun. Two officers came upon Winston and Casher at a bike trail on campus, where they drew down on the players. Both Winston and Casher dropped the pellet gun, laid on the ground and were handcuffed. At their own volition, the players informed police that they were shooting squirrels, and also that they had informed other students that the pistol was a pellet gun.
A third officer arrived on the scene, identified Winston and Casher and confiscated the pellet gun. Both players were released with no charges having been filed.
Below is the written statement from one officer on the scene, A. Gionnetti:
On Sunday, November 25, 2012, I responded to the bike trail in reference to two black males carrying a long barreled handgun.
The suspects were seen in the area of the Pensacola ￼￼￼Street tunnel walking towards Chapel Drive. The complainant provided description of the suspects. Officer Williams and I arrived on the bike trail shortly after and observed two black males fitting the description of the suspects walking towards Chapel Drive near the Southern Scholarship Houses. There were other individuals in the area who did not fit the description of the suspects.
I believed the suspects may have had a firearm so for my safety and the safety of the other individuals in the area, I drew my firearm from it’s (sic) holster and pointed it at the suspects with my finger outside the trigger guard. I stated several times in a loud voice for them to stop and to get on the ground. They eventually got on the ground. Officer Williams handcuffed both suspects behind their back. After they were handcuffed, I re-holstered my firearm.
On their own they said they were shooting at squirrels along the bike trail and that they had been telling others on the bike trail that the pistol was a pellet gun. They had some pellets in a container on them.
Corporal Wainwright arrived at the scene and took possession of the pellet gun and pellets. The two suspects were identified by their FSU ID photographs as Jameis Winston and Christopher Casher. Both are current FSU students. They were released with no charges.
USA Today reports that carrying any form of firearm, including pellet guns, on campus is a violation of Florida State University’s student code of conduct. Neither FSU officials nor Winston’s attorney have commented on the story.
This story was one that FSU fans pointed at when claiming the media was on a witch hunt across Tallahassee. The mentality: Winston’s actions from 2012 had no bearing on the 2014 season, so why dredge up old information?
It’s easy to see both sides of this argument. From the media’s vantage point: is this an example of FSU covering the tracks for athletes and fostering a system of entitlement? Also, spinning forward, does this help construct more of an image of Winston’s psyche? Is he a guy who’s made a couple of bad decisions or is he a serious malcontent.
From the FSU fan: why pull up something that is old news? This public record has been out there, so why now and why FSU? If the team wasn’t winning and Winston wasn’t the Heisman incumbent, would they be digging? What, exactly, is the purpose and the intent of this report?
The only thing that can’t be argued about this report is that it further solidified Jameis Winston as the most polarizing player in college athletics.
Was this a necessary report, or was it superfluous? Sound off in the comments below!