University of Florida footballer held over 'dog bark'

A booking photo of Antonio Morrison Antonio Morrison was released from jail later on Sunday

Related Stories

A Florida university footballer has been arrested for barking at a police dog and resisting arrest, police say.

An officer and a dog were investigating a vehicle in Gainesville early on Sunday when Antonio Morrison, 19, barked at the animal, police said.

Florida law makes it a crime to "harass" a police dog while the animal is "in the performance of its duties".

Mr Morrison, who plays linebacker for the University of Florida "Gators" team, said the dog had barked first.

University of Florida football coach Will Muschamp said Mr Morrison would be suspended for at least two games when the season starts later this summer.

"I'm extremely disappointed in Antonio Morrison's decision making," Mr Muschamp said in a statement.

Arrest questioned

Mr Morrison enrolled at the University of Florida in January 2012, playing his first season the following autumn. He was scheduled to be on the team's starting line-up this season.

DaMarcus James is tackled by Antonio Morrison during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on 17 November 2012 Morrison (left) started as linebacker in several games during the 2012 season

Sunday's arrest was Mr Morrison's second in five weeks. He was charged with battery in June after being accused of punching a bouncer who refused to give him a discount.

According to a report, police responded about 03:00 local time (07:00 GMT) on Sunday to a vehicle near a bar to which officers had repeatedly been called over the past year.

As an officer was investigating, Mr Morrison walked by in a group. The linebacker then walked up to a police car where a police dog, Bear, was inside and began barking, police said.

The dog barked back, becoming distracted from its duties, police said. As the officer attempted to handcuff Mr Morrison, he resisted several times, according to the police report, until two other officers arrived to assist.

A Florida prosecutor said he was unsure whether Mr Morrison should have been arrested.

"Based on the initial report, I have to question the sufficiency of the evidence to constitute a crime," Florida State Attorney Bill Cervone told the Gainesville Sun.

"Simply barking at a dog may not be enough."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

  • Players pointing up at the sky Spiders from Mars?

    The day UFOs stopped play - and 10,000 football fans gasped

  • cube 1Puzzled?

    How to solve brain-teasers by one of the greatest maths minds

  • A protestor raises his hands in front of police during demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, on 22 October.Ferguson redux

    Grand jury decision exonerating police could reignite unrest

  • A police officer patrols the grounds of the National War Memorial in Ottawa (24 October 2014)Debates reawakened

    Canada no stranger to threat of political violence

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BeesSweet medicine

    Why are sick bees being prescribed honey? BBC Earth investigates


  • The smartphone that answers backClick Watch

    Smartphones get smarter – the prototypes that talk and say ouch when you drop them

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.