Thursday, March 21, 2013
2 FSU sprinters arrested after poolside shooting
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Two of the nation's top sprinters were suspended by Florida State officials Thursday, hours after the athletes were arrested following an early morning poolside shooting incident.
A police report stated that Ronell J. Mance, who won a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in the 4x400 relay, and Stephen Newbold, the MVP at the recent Atlantic Coast Conference indoor track and field championships, were arrested moments after Tallahassee police were alerted that the shots were being fired at an off-campus student apartment complex at about 3:30 a.m. There were no injuries reported.
"The students have been suspended from the team effective immediately," athletic director Randy Spetman said. "Whether they can return as student-athletes will be determined through our discipline policy and any legal proceedings."
Mance, a transfer from Southern Cal who turned 21 Thursday and often goes by his middle name Joshua, denied he had an illegal ID in his possession since he had officially turned 21 before going to a nightclub shortly after midnight.
"Ii think this was a human error on the part of the officers," said attorney Don Pumphrey, who is representing Mance pro bono. "They were doing the best they can, but they got the ID off another person."
Mance said he was outside on the third floor of the apartment building and heard the shots, but didn't see them. He and two others had gone downstairs as police arrived and were quickly questioned and handcuffed.
"We told them we were fulltime students, fulltime athletes," Mance said. "One of the guys told them I was an Olympian and they (police) made a smart remark."
The university also updated an online advisory it uses to inform its students, faculty and staff about such incidents with a report of the shooting, spokesman Keith Bromery said.
Newbold, 20, won gold at the 2011 World Youth Games in the 200-meter dash in a career-best 20.89 and established a personal-best 47.12 in the 400-meter dash last spring in his hometown of Nassau, Bahamas. Mance has a personal best of 44.83 in the 400 meters.
Newbold initially ran away from two pursuing officers, but was soon located by a police dog, according to the probable cause affidavit.
The affidavit said Newbold was arrested for discharging a firearm in public and resisting without violence. Mance was arrested for unauthorized use of an ID and resisting without violence. He had Newbold's ID which had an altered date on it, which is a third degree felony under Florida law.
Tallahassee police spokesman David Northway said resisting without violence is a misdemeanor.
Newbold told police that Mance was using the card to get into a local bar.
One witness told police that she heard two gunshots and when she looked out of her window she saw a male, who was later identified as Newbold, shoot a hand gun two more times in the direction of the swimming pool. The witness said she heard the shots and saw the muzzle flashes each time. Another account in the affidavit said the shots were aimed at a person in the pool area.
Authorities did find two federal 380 auto shell casings in the area where the witness said she saw the gun being fired.
Two of the other three males questioned by police at the scene were also members of the school's track and field team, which annually ranks among the country's best.