University of Tennessee football players Nu'Keese Richardson of Pahokee, Mike Edwards and Janzen Jackson were arrested early Thursday morning for attempted armed robbery, according to Knoxville, Tenn., police.
Richardson was a longtime commitment of the Florida Gators before signing with Tennessee and new head coach Lane Kiffin on National Signing Day. Kiffin later bragged about stealing away Richardson from the Gators during a Tennessee booster club meeting. The coach also falsely accused Florida coach Urban Meyer of violating NCAA recruiting rules during Richardson's recruitment.
According to police, the football players were arrested on Thursday after attempting to rob three individuals at gunpoint in the parking lot of a convenience store near the campus of the University of Tennessee. The football players and a 22-year-old female, identified by police as Marie Montmarquet, were later arrested and each charged with three counts of attempted armed robbery. Montmarquet also faces charges for possession of marijuana.
According to police, Richardson and Edwards attempted to rob three individuals around 1:43 a.m. in the parking lot of a Pilot gas station. The three victims were inside a parked car when Richardson and Edwards, wearing black hooded sweatshirts, opened the car doors and demanded money. One of the football players was carrying a handgun, according to police.
According to police reports, the victims told Richardson and Edwards that they had no money and showed them their empty wallets. According to police, Jackson then approached the car and told Richardson and Edwards that it was time to go. The football players fled the scene in a Toyota Prius, according to police, and were later stopped by police on Neyland Drive.
Montmarquet was driving the car, according to police. After searching the car, police found an air-powered pellet pistol under one of the car seats. The black hooded sweatshirts were in plain sight, according to police. Police returned the football players to the scene of the crime and Richardson and Edwards were identified by the victims.
The football players and Montmarquet are currently being held in the Knox County Detention facility.
On Wednesday during the weekly Southeastern Conference media conference call, Kiffin pointed out to reporters that his football team had a clean arrest record.