DE George arrested on grand theft charge
USF senior Woody George, competing for a starting position at defensive end, was arrested at the campus police station Thursday night and charged with a felony count of grand theft relating to a missing parking boot.
George, 23, was arrested after his car had been immobilized with a boot from USF's Parking and Transportation Services on Tuesday. Parking officials told police Wednesday that the car and boot were missing, though George called police and made arrangements to return the boot, according to arrest reports.
On Thursday, however, he went into the campus police station and "told police he threw the boot away." He was arrested at 5:25 p.m. and taken to county jail. The boot is valued at $450, so George was charged with felony grand theft, which covers any theft of larger than $300 and less than $5,000.
George started 12 games at defensive tackle last season, finishing with 28 tackles. He is competing with senior Jarriett Buie for one of the starting defensive end positions. George's arrest is the fourth by a USF player since March, and while the other arrests were all misdemeanors, none have merited punishment as severe as any kind of suspension from games.
If George is able to recover the boot and return it to campus parking officials in working condition, USF police public information officer Lt. Meg Ross said there was precedent for such charges not being pursued by prosecutors.
Coach Jim Leavitt declined to comment Thursday night through assistant athletic director Chris Freet, who said the arrest was a team matter and would be handled internally. George, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound senior from Belle Glade, spent about six hours in county jail Thursday night before he was released at 1:10 a.m. Friday morning on $2,000 bond.
(photo courtesy USF sports information)