Saturday, March 31, 2012

Warning: Do Not Feed The Gators

By Conor Flahive

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Florida basketball player Erving Walker is a stat machine. He is Florida’s all-time leader in assists and is fourth in scoring. And despite being knocked out of the NCAA tournament by Louisville in the West Region final last week, Walker is still trying to get his stats up, particularly in one category: steals.

Earlier this morning, the Florida Senior was arrested and charged with petty theft for allegedly stealing a $3 taco from a street vendor. According to the arrest report, after Walker ordered and received the taco, he fled without paying and was eventually apprehended after a foot chase that involved several police cars.

The recent death of Trayvon Martin put the country on notice that Florida is the last bastion of criminality for every identity thief, tax evader, and gun freak. But, apparently there is one area of crime Florida's laws do not tolerate: petty theft.

In order to be found guilty of theft a person must have knowingly endeavored to obtain property from another with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner of the right to it. Furthermore, Florida law now requires that "every judgment of guilty of a petit theft...shall provide for the suspension of the convicted person's drivers license." 

Instead of invoking his right to remain silent, Walker admitted to stealing the taco but said he was “just playing around.” Oops.

The 5’7 guard is not widely considered to be an NBA prospect. Nevertheless, despite last night’s mishap, Walker will still get the opportunity to prove people wrong in the NBA Summer League. That is, so long as teams don’t require players to drive themselves to practice.

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