Kevin C. Cox

Jessamen Dunker arrested: Florida OL charged with grand theft auto

Florida freshman Jessamen Dunker has been arrested and charged with grand theft auto after reportedly stealing a "moped."

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6 Total Updates since January 16, 2013
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Dunker's lawyer "cautiously optimistic"

Jessamen Dunker's case of grand theft scooter has remained relatively quiet since Dunker's suspension from the Florida football team was announced, and that's probably a good thing. It means Dunker hasn't done anything else to run afoul of the law or of Will Muschamp, and it means that Dunker's future is probably still in orange and blue.

And Dunker's lawyer is feeling good, too. Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun, while reporting on Loucheiz Purifoy's marijuana possession charge being dismissed, also gets this quote from Huntley Johnson, who represents both players.

"I’m cautiously optimistic," Johnson said.

Johnson being optimistic, cautiously or otherwise, is probably a good sign: He doesn't seem to get surprised by his clients' legal proceedings very often, and he knows Alachua County and Florida courts like the back of his hand at this point.

Johnson's defense might hinge on the fact that Dunker reportedly told police he purchased the scooter while being arrested for its theft.

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Dunker suspended after release from jail

Jessamen Dunker was released on his own recognizance on Thursday. That might explain why he was only suspended by Will Muschamp on Friday.

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Police: Dunker said he purchased scooter

You know what sounds like it might complicate things in Jessamen Dunker's arrest? Dunker telling police he had purchased the scooter.

The resale of scooters happens all the time in Gainesville, a scooter-friendly city, and especially among athletes, who need scooters more than most populations and can buy old ones from outgoing graduates and players who are leaving. An athlete being involved in the sale a piece of property that eventually got that player arrested sounds a lot like a former Florida player of some repute: Cam Newton.

Newton said that he had bought, not stolen, that laptop, something that was contradicted by virtually every other fact in that story — my most charitable reading is that Cam bought a laptop someone else swiped — contradicted.

Dunker might be in for a similar saga. Or, if he actually bought the scooter and is the subject of some grand misunderstanding, this story might end differently.

One thing's for sure: Florida coaches and fans would probably be perfectly fine with the end of Cam Newton's time at Florida never being brought up again, and incidents reminiscent of it are probably not going to win players many fans.

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Dunker stole scooter, police say

The Gainesville Sun's Robbie Andreu was first to report that Jessamen Dunker's arrest for grand theft auto comes because he stole a scooter.

247Sports' Thomas Goldkamp gets this quote from the University Police Department, which booked Dunker, confirming that it was a scooter that Dunker stole.

"He was observed by one of our police officers riding on a scooter that did not have a tag attached to the scooter," major Brad Barber said. "Traffic stop was initiated, and during that stop it was determined that he was driving on a license that had been suspended. He was aware of that. The scooter, in fact, was stolen."

Dunker's arrest on third-degree felony grand theft auto charges suggests that the vehicle stolen was worth more than $5,000. That seems a little on the high end for a scooter — and seems like the kind of loophole Gainesville legal eagle Huntley Johnson might be able to attack — but Dunker's in some deep, deep trouble regardless. Update: See original story for why the previous is wrong and/or why I'm an idiot.

Florida is aware of the situation, too:

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Jessamen Dunker arrested for grand theft auto

Florida's offensive line may be getting a little less deep very shortly.

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