Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Colleges

FSU's James Wilder Jr. is charged with two felonies, suspended

Former Plant High and current Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. was arrested in Tallahassee and charged with two felony counts Wednesday. He has been suspended from the team, according to his lawyer Tim Jansen, who said Wilder's "college career is in jeopardy.''

Wilder, 19, is charged with battery of an officer, firefighter or EMT and resisting an officer with violence, said Kathryn Hertz, a correctional officer with the Leon County Sheriff's Office. He was released on $2,000 bail. An after-hours phone call to Kerwin Lonzo, the Seminoles' sports information director for football, was not returned.

According to a release from the Sheriff's Office, a deputy was dispatched to 415 Chapel Drive, Apartment 119, to arrest Bianca Camarda, 20, for failing to appear in court on a criminal mischief charge. At the address, Deputy Donnie Bramblett met Wilder, Camarda's boyfriend. Wilder allowed Bramblett to search the apartment. Camarda was found hiding in a bathroom, where she was placed in handcuffs and escorted to the marked police car.

According to the release, Wilder then told Bramblett that Camarda was not going to jail and pushed him. Bramblett unholstered his Taser and warned Wilder. The player began yelling obscenities and was arrested once Camarda was placed in the car. Both were taken to the Leon County Jail.

Jansen, Wilder's attorney, said the officer misconstrued Wilder's actions and that he was trying to show him a text from Camarda's lawyer, explaining that her failure to appear in court Tuesday was the result of a clerical error and that she should go Wednesday.

"The officer wanted none of it," said Jansen, who has represented other FSU football players, including cornerback Greg Reid, who was arrested in September on two misdemeanor charges. "James did not mean to touch, resist or harass the officer in any way."

Wilder and Camarda met in the seventh grade while attending Martinez Middle School in Lutz.

Wilder appeared in 12 games for FSU as a freshman. He rushed for 160 yards and one touchdown on 35 attempts and caught two passes for 14 yards.

After transferring from Chamberlain to Plant before his junior year, Wilder led Plant to a Class 5A state title in 2010 and a state runnerup finish his senior year. After MaxPreps named him the top recruit in the country before his senior year, he rushed for 1,597 yards and 22 touchdowns and recorded 75 tackles and eight sacks.

Jansen said he's hopeful the matter can be resolved and that Wilder will apologize for any inconvenience. "He didn't mean to interfere, he was just trying to keep his girlfriend from getting arrested," Jansen said. "Obviously, his college career is in jeopardy."

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