Gators LB Morrison charged with harassing police dog, suspended

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

Antonio Morrison was arrested for allegedly barking at a police dog. (USATSI)
Antonio Morrison was arrested after allegedly barking at a police dog. (USATSI)
Florida starting linebacker Antonio Morrison has been suspended from the team after his second arrest in barely more than a month.

Gainesville Police say Morrison approached an officer's vehicle at the scene of a disturbance early Sunday morning and began barking at a police dog.

Morrison, 19, was arrested and charged with "interfering with police by harassing a police animal" and resisting arrest without violence after allegedly initially refusing to cooperate with officers' attempts to detain him. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Morrison was also arrested June 16 after allegedly punching a bouncer at a Gainesville nightclub. Though Florida coach Will Muschamp said at SEC media days he had not yet decided on a punishment for Morrison related to that incident, he announced Sunday he has suspended the rising sophomore in the wake of his latest arrest.

"I'm extremely disappointed in Antonio Morrison's decision making," Muschamp said in a statement released by Florida. "He has been suspended from the team and will miss at least two games to begin the season."

Florida opens Aug. 31 with Toledo, then travels to Miami in Week 2 -- a game where Morrison's absence could be keenly felt. The former four-star recruit from Illinois played in all 13 Florida games as a true freshman in 2012, starting three, and was expected to ascend to the starting lineup full-time this season.

According to the police report, a K9 officer named "Bear" was sitting inside a stopped police car outside a Gainesville nightclub Sunday morning when Morrison walked by. The report says Morrison approached and began making what he reportedly described as a "woof-woof sound" at the dog, interrupting the officers' investigation and leading to the arrest.

Morrison's June 16 arrest came on charges of simple battery. He later accepted a deferred prosecution agreement that would see the charges dismissed after six months if he fulfilled the terms of the agreement.

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