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State drops charges against Florida LB Antonio Morrison

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

A Gainesville attorney expects the charges against Florida LB Antonio Morrison will be dropped. (USATSI)
Florida LB Antonio Morrison is clear of legal trouble for Sunday's incident. (USATSI)

The State Attorney's Office has dropped the misdemeanor charges against Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison for barking at a police dog and resisting arrest.

According to the Associated Press, State Attorney Bill Cervone said the "dismissal is based on the lack of evidence to warrant much less legally sustain those charges, and the complete inappropriateness of pursing court action against Morrison, or anyone else, under the circumstances involved."

Cervone told the AP that he reviewed the tape and did not see any resistance "beyond questioning the actions of law enforcement, which is not illegal."

The incident, which occurred Sunday morning, has been reviewed by authorities. Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell told the Gainesville Sun on Monday that Morrison should have received a warning instead of being arrested.

The Gators' linebacker was walking in a group past a police vehicle when he began to bark at a police K9 in the car. That's when Morrison began to interact with an officer and was eventually arrested and charged with the two misdemeanors.

''I would expect that Morrison has learned that being out at that hour of the night under those circumstances is setting himself up for a situation where he could risk and lose a great deal,'' Cervone told the AP. ''However, counseling him about where he was and whatever he was doing is not the function of my office. I can only concern myself with criminal culpability, of which there is none.''

Florida kicks off the 2013 season against Toledo, then travels to Miami to face the preseason ACC Coastal Division favorite on Sept. 7. If there is a time when the Gators defense needs Morrison early, it will be against Hurricanes' running back Duke Johnson and the high-powered Miami offense.

"I'm extremely disappointed in Antonio Morrison's decision making," Gators' coach Will Muschamp said in an official statement after the arrest. "He has been suspended from the team and will miss at least two games to begin the season."

It is not known whether Muschamp will amend or reverse his decision.

Morrison's first arrest of the offseason came on June 16 on charges of simple battery. He later accepted a deferred prosecution agreement, which will reportedly not be affected if the dog barking charges are dropped. The Gainesville Sun also obtained a video of the incident with the K9 cop, you can check it out below.

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