Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was stopped and detained by police hours before taking part in a previously reported BB gun battle in 2012, USA Today's Rachel Axon reports.
According to the report, Winston and teammate Chris Casher were stopped by police at gunpoint on Nov. 25, 2012 while using pellet guns to shoot at squirrels on a campus bike trail. A police report showed an unidentified person reported seeing two individuals carrying a "long barreled handgun" on Florida State's campus.
In the report, Florida State Police Officer Anthony Gioannetti said he believed Winston and Casher were possibly armed.
The officer "stated several times in a loud voice" for the men to get on the ground. They dropped a pistol, which the officer did not initially see, before lying on the ground. Officer Garrett Williams handcuffed Winston and Casher, and Gioannetti then holstered his firearm.
Winston and Casher told police they were shooting at squirrels on the trail and that they had told other people on the trail the pistol was a pellet gun, according to the report.
Corporal John Wainwright arrived and confiscated the gun and pellets. The players were released and not charged.
About five hours later, Winston was involved in a BB gun "battle" that damaged the apartment complex where he was living, an incident originally reported last November. The apartment's landlord originally told the Tallahassee Police Department that he wanted to evict Winston, Casher and two other players, but instead Florida State arranged for the players to split the cost of the damages.
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Winston, last season's Heisman Trophy winner, has been allegedly involved or connected to a number of off-field incidents at Florida State. He was investigated last year for his involvement in an alleged sexual assault on a female Florida State student, but he was not charged. Winston was also implicated in an alleged incident at a Burger King, in which an employee reported he and three other individuals were stealing soda from ketchup cups.
Most recently, Winston was cited for shoplifting crab legs from a Tallahassee Publix in April. Winston called the incident a "terrible mistake," and he was suspended from the baseball team and ordered to play a small fine and perform community service.
Like Johnny Manziel before him, Winston has reached the point where everything he does -- big or small -- is news. His best course of action is to focus on football and keep BB gun battles, and the like, out of the headlines. Wednesday's report was no major revelation into Winston's off-field actions. It happened almost two years ago, and police draw their weapons when they see someone who they suspect has a gun. Winston is not a bad guy because of this. But for his sake, let's hope his narrative focuses on football from here on out.