Florida State quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was issued a civil citation after sheriff's deputies say he walked out of a supermarket without paying for $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish.
Leon County Sheriff's Office Maj. Michael Wood said Wednesday that the 20-year-old Winston ordered the food at the deli in a Tallahassee, Fla.-area Publix on Tuesday night. After receiving the order, he left the store without paying.
Wood said Publix employees called deputies, who went to Winston's apartment. Wood said Winston was "very cooperative" in a post-Miranda interview and acknowledged not paying for the food, saying he forgot.
After consulting with Publix managers, deputies issued Winston a civil citation that will require him to complete at least 20 hours of community service. If he does that, no criminal charges will be filed. He will also likely have to pay restitution.
"The facts are not in dispute," Wood said. "He left without paying."
Wood said Winston was cooperative.
"He indicated to the deputies he had forgotten and when he got home he realized that he had not paid, but in fact he had made no effort to contact Publix or return to pay prior to the deputies' arrival" three hours after Winston left the store, Wood said.
Winston, in a signed statement, said he's taking full responsibility for an "unfortunate" incident.
"As reported in the news, last night I received an adult citation for petit theft from a local supermarket," the statement read. "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."
Florida State suspended Winston from its baseball team as a result of the citation. The university's athletic department code of conduct/discipline policy provides that a student-athlete with a civil citation is eligible to practice and compete, but that the head coach decides whether he/she will.
A preseason All-American, Winston is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 16 appearances this spring.
"I am confident he will complete his community service obligation and the situation will be resolved soon," FSU coach Mike Martin said.
Winston led the Florida State football team to the national championship last season as a freshman, starring in the undefeated Seminoles' 34-31 victory over Auburn in the championship game.
"I fully support Coach Martin's decision and will also make sure that Jameis meets all obligations, which I know he will," football coach Jimbo Fisher said.