UF linebacker slugged bouncer, GPD says
Published: Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, June 16, 2013 at 12:49 p.m.
Florida rising sophomore linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested early Sunday morning after police say he punched a bouncer at a nightclub who wouldn't give him a discount.
Morrison, 19, was outside the Kava Bar and Hookah Lounge at 1007 W. University Ave. at 2:15 a.m. when the incident occurred, according to a Gainesville Police report.
Morrison was waiting in line with a group of other males when he walked up to the bouncer and asked about the entrance prices.
He began to argue with the bouncer to get a discount, the report said, yelling, “Don't you know who I am? I'm a football player! I'm Antonio!”
Morrison then hit the bouncer with a closed fist on top of the left side of his head, causing visible swelling, the report said.
The bouncer looked up Morrison on the UF website and provided his name and picture to GPD.
Police arrested Morrison at 5:30 a.m. at his apartment complex. He admitted that he had gotten into a “scuffle'' with the bouncer but that it wasn't a big deal.
Morrison added that he didn't remember much about the incident because he was drunk at the time, according to the report.
He was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 6:03 a.m. Sunday on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery. He was being held without bond on Sunday evening.
Morrison, 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, is a projected starter in 2013. He had 34 tackles and one sack as a freshman.
UF spokesperson Steve McClain said Florida coach Will Muschamp is aware of Morrison's arrest and is handling the matter.
Mahmoud Hasna said Sunday that he saw three men, who he said were large in stature, approach the lounge alongside Morrison. Hasna said one of the men appeared to be taking a video with his phone as he approached the entrance.
“I saw my friend (the bouncer) getting hit by a big guy,” Hasna said. “The other three people were hitting him, too.”
Hasna saw the bouncer push the men away using a gate that is used to funnel the crowd into the bar. After he pushed them, the men ran away, Hasna said.
Hasna said he did not know Morrison was a football player. He said Morrison told the bouncer that all four men were football players.
None of the others with Morrison had been identified or arrested as of Sunday night.
Another witness, who did not want to be identified, said he believed the men were looking for trouble as they approached the club. He said he didn't know who the men were until Morrison announced himself.
“He basically mentioned who he was. It was probably a mistake on his part,” the witness said.