Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's post-Heisman Trophy offseason took an embarrassing turn Tuesday when he was cited for shoplifting crab legs at a Tallahassee, Fla., grocery store.
Winston's sticky fingers at a local Publix resulted in an "adult civil citation." According to Major Michael Wood of the Leon County Sheriff's Office, the citation program is a pre-arrest diversion for non-violent, minor offenses, and is available only to citizens with no criminal history. Winston was given 20 hours of community service as a minimum requirement of the program, and might also be required to pay restitution on what would have been a $32.72 bill.
Wood emphasized that Winston was never arrested. According to Wood, Winston was cooperative and told police he forgot to pay for crab legs and some crawfish. He did not make any other purchase at the store. The store and Winston mutually agreed to invoke the civil citation program. Winston has seven days to contact the program to arrange his community service.
Winston released a statement about his latest incident through his attorney Tim Jansen:
"As reported in the news, last night I received an adult civil citation for petit theft from a local supermarket. I went to the supermarket with the intent to purchase dinner 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. Over the last year I've learned that my accomplishments on the fields can be a wonderful thing for my school, teammates, friends, and family. At the same time, I must realize that my mistakes are magnified and can bring great embarrassment to all those who support me every day. I make no excuses for my actions and will learn and grow from this unfortunate situation. I hope and pray my friends and family will view me as the 20-year-old young man that I am, and support me through this unfortunate situation.
"I am grateful to be able to participate in the adult citation program where I will complete community service."
"I am confident he will complete his community service obligation and the situation will be resolved soon," Martin said in a press release.
If Winston fails to meet the requirements of the program, Wood said, the case will be subject to standard prosecution. FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher said he would also ensure Winston has made proper amends, although it's the baseball team that his error in judgment will impact immediately. Winston is FSU's closer out of the bullpen with a team-high five saves and a sparkling 1.50 ERA through 24 innings this season.
Winston was the subject of an investigation into a rape allegation during the Seminoles' BCS national championship season last year, but was not charged in the matter. The Tallahassee Police Department's handling of the case subsequently came under immense scrutiny, most recently by the New York Times.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.