Gators LB Morrison facing battery charge
Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison was arrested early Sunday morning after allegedly punching a nightclub bouncer because he would not be given a discounted rate for admission.
According to a Gainesville Police Department report, two officers on patrol witnessed an altercation at 2:15 a.m. at the entrance to the Kava Lounge on West University Avenue. Upon arriving, the officers spoke with 25-year-old Omar Al Ajlani, who said he had been attacked and punched in the head.
Police arrested Morrison and charged him with misdemeanor simple battery. Morrison was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 6:03 a.m.
Morrison, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound sophomore, is expected to be the Gators' starter at middle linebacker.
UF spokesman Steve McClain said coach Will Muschamp is aware of the situation and is handling the matter.
According to the GPD report, a group of men skipped to the front of the line and one man asked Al Ajlani about admission prices. When told he would have to pay full price, the report stated the man became irate and began screaming at Al Ajlani.
"Don't you know who I am?" the report states the man yelled. "I am a UF football player! I am Antonio!"
According to the report, Al Ajlani looked back at the man and the man began punching Al Ajlani in the head. Al Ajlani told police he pushed a security barricade at the attacker in self-defense, and then the attacker and his friends fled across the street, got into a white vehicle, and fled the scene.
The report also states that Al Ajlani said the incident was being recorded on a cellphone belonging to one of the attacker's friends. Al Ajlani had visible swelling in his head, the report states, but refused EMS services.
Police interviewed two witnesses, both of whom said they saw a man striking Ajlani and then fleeing across the street with several other men and leaving in a white car. The witnesses also said they saw a man recording the incident on a cellphone. Al Ajlani and one of the witnesses accessed the University of Florida's athletic website on their phone, viewed photos, and identified Morrison.
Police contacted Morrison at his on-campus residence, and the report said the 19-year-old Morrison admitted to having been drinking downtown at various bars and also going to the Kava Lounge. The report said Morrison also admitted to having gotten into what he described as a "scuffle" with Al Ajlani but told police that "it wasn't that big of a deal."
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