Wednesday, October 3, 2007

IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOUR DEFINITION OF ‘CRIME’ IS…

Safety Tony Joiner is the eighth Florida player in the last nine months to get in legal trouble, a growing concern for the defending National Champions. Joiner, a senior captain and defensive leader, was arrested early Tuesday and charged with felony burglary, police said.

Joiner, who ranks fifth on the team with 20 tackles, was arrested around 5 a.m. outside the fenced impound lot of a local towing company, Gainesville police said.

But the owner of the property leased by the towing company, Stan Forron (University of Florida ‘66, University of Florida Board of Visitors, Chairman Emeritus Gator Club, Founder Swamp Booster Club, and web master for http://www.GiveUgaToMikeVick.com/) said Tuesday afternoon that the whole thing is "a big misunderstanding."

Joiner was accused of pushing a heavy electric gate open to enter the lot in an attempt to retrieve his girlfriend's car, which was being held in lieu of a $76 towing bill, a police report said. Joiner was taken to the Alachua County Jail and later released on his own recognizance.

Forron (known to his homies as "Gator Tow") said Joiner had made arrangements to pay the towing bill and pick up the car. But when Joiner arrived, no one was around to help him.

"I don't know if he was late or early or what," said Forron, who plans to urge the state attorney's office to drop the charges. "I don't understand why he was arrested. Is it a crime? Yes and no. It's kind of my fault because I left the gate open.

"It's like going to breakfast at Cracker Barrel and when you go to leave there's no one there to take your money. How long are you going to wait?" (How about as long as it takes?)

Forron acknowledged that he is a Gators fan, but he insisted that it had no bearing on his desire to see the charges dropped.

"I came forward because right is right and wrong is wrong," Forron said. "I don't think he should be in trouble."
Florida plays #1 LSU Saturday in Baton Rouge.

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