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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Charges reduced for UF football players after BB gun incident

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Two UF football players charged with firing BB guns on campus had their felony charges reduced, Bill Cervone, a state attorney, said.

On July 15, Tyrie Cleveland and Rick Wells, both 18-year-old freshman wide receivers, aimed the nonlethal weapons into Keys Residential Complex and fired them, shattering a glass door and two glass windows, according to a University Police report.

UPD arrested both men on charges of criminal mischief with property damage of more than $1,000 and firing a missile into a dwelling.

On Tuesday, the mischief charges were reduced to first-degree misdemeanors and the property damage charges were dropped, Cervone said. He authorized the changes last week.

The incident, which was caught on surveillance camera, caused about $1,400 in damages. Each player will be charged for about $700 of it, Cervone said.

“We’re holding each of them accountable for half the damage,” he said.

UF football coach Jim McElwain suspended both players for last Saturday’s season opener against the University of Massachusetts, according to Alligator archives.

Both will be able to play Saturday when the Gators take on the University of Kentucky Wildcats, McElwain said.

The maximum penalty for the players’ new charges is a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, but Cervone said he doubts that they will receive the maximum penalty.

Wells and Cleveland — along with their lawyers — will now decide how to proceed before going to court, likely later this month, he said.

“The next move is theirs,” Cervone said.

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