TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston was issued a civil citation after sheriff’s deputies said he walked out of a supermarket without paying for $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish.
The 20-year-old Florida State quarterback said he forgot to pay for the food. The offense was relatively minor but drew attention both because of his stature and because it was his latest brush with the law.
Winston had been the subject of a much more serious, monthslong investigation into allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman in December 2012. A prosecutor declined to charge him, citing a lack of evidence and gaps in the accuser’s story.
Leon County Sheriff’s Maj. Michael Wood said Wednesday that Publix employees called deputies, who went to Winston’s apartment about three hours later. Winston was cooperative and told the deputies he forgot to pay for the food, but he did not contact the store or return there to pay for the items, Wood said.
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“The facts are not in dispute,” Wood said. “He left without paying.”
Winston issued a statement through his lawyer saying he had intended to pay, “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.”
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Winston led Florida State to an undefeated season and the national championship. For the season, he passed for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, completing nearly 67 percent of his throws.
Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin suspended Winston, a relief pitcher, indefinitely until he completes community service. Football coach Jimbo Fisher said he supports Martin’s decision.
Although Winston was cleared in the sexual-assault case, the university is facing a federal investigation into how it handled the woman’s accusations.
Winston also has had two other run-ins with police, though he was not charged in either case.
• The new playoff selection committee will release a weekly top 25, starting Oct. 25, and panel members will be required to recuse themselves when a school they work for comes up for discussion.
The selection committee will use the same voting procedure and recusal policy as the committee that chooses the 68-team field for NCAA men’s basketball tournament.