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Report: FSU's P.J. Williams issued traffic tickets after hit-and-run

Elise Amendola/Associated Press
Florida State's P.J. Williams is among the top cornerbacks in college football.

Florida State's P.J. Williams, one of the top cornerbacks in college football, was involved in a two-car accident while driving with a suspended license in the early hours of Oct. 5, and fled the scene without the consequences of a hit-and-run charge, according to a New York Times report.

The report casts further scrutiny on both the Tallahassee Police Department and the school, which have both faced months of criticism for their investigations into an alleged sexual assault involving quarterback Jameis Winston.

According to the report, Williams fled along with two passengers, including the Seminoles' other starting cornerback, Ronald Darby, who is another highly regarded talent. The report also suggests the TPD has a practice of filing hit-and-run charges in cases where wrecked drivers flee on foot, and first considered Williams' accident a hit and run, amending the case after Williams returned some 20 minutes later. Though lacking jurisdiction based on the off-campus site of the crash, the school police department also arrived on the scene, but according to the report, left without taking action or filing a report. Williams received traffic tickets for an improper left turn and "unknowingly" driving on a suspended license, according to the report. The crash report indicated both cars were totaled.

The report says Williams was not tested for alcohol after he returned to the scene, nor was he asked if he had been drinking or why he had left the scene. Police told the Times a technical glitch was responsible for the incident failing to appear in the city's public online database of police cases.

TPD chief Michael DeLeo told the Times his department would "conduct an investigation to determine what happened and whether the officers acted appropriately. ... No one should be shown any favoritism."

FSU told the Times the accident was too minor to merit a report being filed by its officers. A statement from the FSU police chief to the Times indicated that his department had cleared two officers of anything improper, saying "This was a routine matter of our agency responding to a simple request from TPD and it was all together proper for our officers to go to the scene."

A Times review of court records showed Williams paid $296 in previously levied fines to get his license reinstated, but the fines related to the accident are overdue and have triggered a new suspension.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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