Advertisement
  1. Sports

Police: Gators linebacker helped stop rape outside Gainesville bar

Published Jul. 24, 2016

GAINESVILLE -- Police say a University of Florida football player helped stop the rape of an unconscious woman behind a trash bin outside a bar.

Cristian Garcia told First Coast News he was taking out the trash Thursday morning from the bar where he works security when he noticed a couple having sex. He first thought it was consensual, but then saw the woman was unconscious. Garcia said the man's friends were watching the assault, and did nothing to help. The incident was videotaped.

Garcia said he and another witness walked up and stopped it.

"I turned around and pulled the guy by the shoulder and said 'Get off.' That pretty much ended the situation then," Garcia told The Gainesville Sun. "He was intoxicated and attempted to throw some punches, but he slipped and busted his face on the wall."

Police later arrested Christopher Shaw, 34, and charged him with sexual battery of the 19-year-old victim.

Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias confirmed that Garcia and Leroyea Simmons helped stop the rape and identified Shaw in a photo line-up.

The Associated Press does not generally identify victims of sexual assault.

Shaw remains in Alachua County Jail with bail set at $500,000.

Garcia, a Miami native who will be a junior, walked on to the team last season after previously working in the video department. He played in one game last season for the Gators, recording two tackles in Florida's 41-7 loss to Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.

Garcia's intervention in the rape came after a recent spate of sexual assault cases nationally involving student-athletes.

On July 15, former Vanderbilt football player Cory Batey was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of taking part in the gang rape of an unconscious female student in June 2013.

Last month, a judge sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in jail and ordered him to register as a sex offender for life after a jury convicted him of raping a student behind a campus dumpster in January 2015. Prosecutors had sought a six-year sentence. The lighter sentence prompted charges that the white judge was lenient with Turner, who is white and from a wealthy family, because the judge also played sports at Stanford.

Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio - the son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio - said in an Instagram post about Garcia: "Hopefully the media will talk about the good and not just the bad. Proud to be a teammate of Cristian Garcia."

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Jason Pierre-Paul returned to Tampa Bay's lineup just in time against Tennessee on Sunday to show the rest of the NFL that he is healthy and could be an effective pass rusher for a playoff contender. MARK ZALESKI  |  AP
    The outside linebacker was on the Super Bowl champion Giants team that did just that in the 2011 season.
  2. Armwood's Cam'ron Ransom has thrown for 1,224 yards and 14 touchdowns this season and is also a threat to run. Times
    The Hawks quarterback faces Lakeland, the school he envisioned attending, in the Class 7A region final.
  3. Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen (66), shown here in an Oct. 14, 2018 file photo, will meet linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) and the Atlanta Falcons again in a 1 p.m. game Sunday in Atlanta. JOHN BAZEMORE  |  AP
    Here are our picks for this week’s NFL games.
  4. The last time the Lightning's Nikita Kucherov missed a game? He sat out two in 2017 on Feb. 28 and March 1. DIRK SHADD  |  Times
    The star forward won’t be in the lineup against Chicago on Thursday night.
  5. Admiral Farragut's Ty Vongvenekeo rotates in under center with Tonio Shavers. Times
    Nine area teams are still alive and looking for state berths.
  6. Florida running back Lamical Perine, right, tries to escape a tackle by Towson safety S.J. Brown II (27) during the first half of a Sept. 28 game in Gainesville. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    The Gators played a pair of Division I-AA teams. It hasn’t mattered.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston signals from the line of scrimmage as he lines up under center Ryan Jensen (66) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Scott Eklund) SCOTT EKLUND  |  AP
    Rick Stroud | The offense under Bruce Arians is turning the ball over at an alarming rate and best players are at fault.
  8. Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, left, talks to center James Wiseman during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Oregon in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Oregon won 82-74. CRAIG MITCHELLDYER  |  AP
    The 7-foot-1 center can play in the Jan. 12 game at the Yuengling Center after missing 12 games in an illegal benefits case, the NCAA says. The school says it will appeal.
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) is tackled on a pass play by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis (56) during the second quarter of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2019, in Tampa. Brate is the only Bucs receiver besides Mike Evans and Chris Godwin who averages more than four targets a game. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    They have a great 1-2 punch in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Problems arise when the duo is neutralized.
  10. Miami Hurricanes running back DeeJay Dallas (13) carries during the second quarter of the game at Camping World Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Orlando. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Florida Gators against Miami, again? Jimbo Fisher vs. Florida State?
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement