GAINESVILLE -- Florida senior safety Tony Joiner was arrested early Tuesday morning for allegedly breaking into a towing service's compound and attempting to steal his girlfriend's car. Joiner was charged with burglary of a dwelling, a second-degree felony.
So, what should Florida coach Urban Meyer do about it? Should Meyer:
A) Kick Joiner off the team.
B) Forget about it and let Joiner start against LSU.
C) Suspend Joiner for the LSU game.
D) Suspend Joiner for a few quarters.
E) Commend Joiner for his chivalry.
The correct answer might be 'B.' Before you freak out, let me explain. I called the towing company that called the cops on Joiner and was referred to Stan Forron, the property owner where the towing company is located. Forron told me that Joiner was not trying to steal the car. Forron said that Joiner had called the company earlier in the morning about picking up the car.
Forron's story: The towing service employee on duty at the time had stepped away from his station when Joiner arrived. Joiner pushed opened the gate, which Forron said he unlocked, and Joiner drove the car out of the impound yard. Joiner then closed the gate and was confronted by the towing service's dispatcher, who had already called the police.
Joiner intended to pay for the tow ($76) and the towing company's dispatchers even asked the police not to arrest Joiner, according to Forron. Forron said the police declined and the arrest was made.
"It seems odd that they would arrest him and charge him with a felony," said Forron. "He wasn't trying to steal the car and people steal cars from the lot 15 to 30 times a year and I've never seen anyone arrested for it. We're not pressing charges. He paid us. It's just a miscommunication."
This whole bizarre story seems a little odd. Forron's account of the incident makes it sound like Joiner did nothing wrong. Of course, he did. After all, Joiner did get charged with a felony. Will it stick? We shall see. Joiner was charged with a felony, according to Gainesville PIO Lt. Keith Kameg, because the football player was attempting to take a car from the impound yard that was not his.
Citing the arrest report, Kameg also said that Forron was not at the scene when the police arrived.
"There's no mention of any owner being at the scene," Kameg said. "The employees that were there did not ask for a complaint withdrawal. If we got to a scene and the people that made the call ask for a complaint withdrawal then the charges are usually dropped."
Forron said that "the [dispatchers] didn't know I was there."