TALLAHASSEE, Fla. How many times have you left the grocery store and forgotten to pay? That’s the story being told by Star FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston. The Heisman Trophy winner will face community service and restitution.
Shortly after 9 Tuesday night, FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston left this Publix near campus. He did not pay for 32 dollars worth of seafood. He was quickly identified and police went to his residence.
Major Mike Woods of the Leon County Sheriff's Office told reporters, "In a post-Miranda interview he did in fact acknowledge he had left Publix without paying for the items. He indicated to the deputies he had forgotten and when he got home he realized he had not paid, but he in fact made no effort to contact Publix or return to pay prior to the Deputy's arrival."
Winston was not arrested, but given an adult civil citation. He must pay back the store back and serve community service. “The facts are not in dispute, he left without paying and I can't see inside his head to see what he was thinking so with that said, it warrants a civil citation for petty theft," said Major Woods.
"Both Publix and Jameis Winston had to agree to the civil citation program, if he fails to complete all of the terms, he could face petty theft charges."
Winston apologized in a written statement, calling the act “youthful ignorance." His lawyer, Tim Jansen says it was a mistake. "This was stupid. No doubt about it. He had the money and resources to pay for it. He could have paid for the dinner."
After the citation became public, there was an explosion of social media. Even the State’s agriculture Commissioner tweeted about the incident in jest.
Attorney Jansen says the explosion should be a reminder to Winston. "Maybe this will send a message to people like Jameis. If you do something in the public spotlight and you bring embarrassment to yourself, it's going to be exaggerated to the point that you really don't want this to happen."
Winston reports to begin discussing his 20 hours of community service on Thursday.
Video of Jameis Winston exists but is not being released because it could be part of a criminal investigation if he does not complete the terms of the citation.