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Monday, February 06, 2023

One Andrew Meyer didn't get Tasered or arrested on Monday. He wasn't even at Sen. John Kerry's speech.

Because of the rain and the death of his cat on Sunday, he slept in.

This Meyer is a mechanical engineering junior at UF with the same name as the student Tasered and arrested at the University Auditorium.

The name confusion explains the calls to his family from NBC, the "well over 200" Facebook friend requests and the new default picture that reads, "I am not the guy who got tazered. He has disappeared from facebook."

While doing homework at a friend's house, Meyer first received notice of the incident from his parents, who had just been phoned by NBC.

Meyer said his parents jokingly asked, "Hey Andrew, did you get Tasered today?"

His friends and family knew right away that he wasn't the Andrew Meyer who was arrested.

"I'm the good son in the family," Meyer said. "If it was my sister, they might have believed it for a second."

News networks including CNN and FOX called his parents in Orlando, but Meyer did not receive any phone calls about the incident.

He did, however, receive about 10 e-mails from news outlets. Some knew there were two students with the same name and addressed the e-mails "to whom it may concern."

To be "more efficient," Meyer had a generic e-mail ready to respond to any media inquiries.

"I'm sure Andrew wants to get news out about him," said Meyer. "So if they contacted me, I redirected them to him."

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The confusion was harder to evade on Facebook.

Friend requests began to appear at 3 a.m. Tuesday. They came in groups of 3 or 4 every hour, Meyer said.

The two Meyers have never met but have been Facebook friends since they discovered they had the same name three years ago.

He said he thought the other Meyer's behavior was inappropriate but didn't warrant a Taser.

"It's pretty bad what happened to him, but a lot of good will come from it too," Meyer said. "Since he's a journalism major, this will get him publicity since it actually got on the news."

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