Florida redshirt freshman cornerback J.C. Jackson was arrested and booked into the Alachua County Jail Sunday for taking part in an armed robbery Saturday afternoon, according to a police report and county records.
Jackson was charged with three counts of felony armed robbery of the first degree. Jackson was booked into the Alachua County Jail at 1:35 a.m. Sunday morning, and is being held on $150,000 bond.
According to the police report, Jackson was involved in a home invasion that took place at Canopy Apartments shortly before 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. A victim of the robbery told police that Jackson "contacted him about hanging out and smoking cannabis," and arranged to meet at the victim's apartment. When Jackson arrived, according to the victim, he opened the apartment door without knocking, looked inside, and then shut the door.
The victim then opened the door and greeted Jackson, who entered the apartment with two other men. Jackson then "acted as though he had a phone call," and stepped out the apartment, at which point one of the other men grabbed "a bag of cannabis," pulled out a handgun, and demanded the residents of the apartment get down on the ground.
The two men remaining in the apartment took almost $400 in cash from three victims in the apartment, and also "removed two gaming systems" valued at more than $4,000, according to a Gainesville Police Department incident report, "from the living room area."
Jackson "never re-entered the apartment," according to the victim whose statements to police form the basis of the arrest report, but that victim did receive a phone call from Jackson "after law enforcement arrived." Jackson was subsequently identified by all three victims of the robbery.
Alachua County Jail records indicate Jackson remains in custody.
Here's the applicable section of Florida law:
(1) "Robbery" means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.
(2)(a) If in the course of committing the robbery the offender carried a firearm or other deadly weapon, then the robbery is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
It's unclear if Jackson allegedly not ever possessing the weapon used in the commission of the robbery or leaving the apartment during the act are potential mitigating circumstances, but this much seems obvious, according to the police report: At the very minimum, Jackson was an integral part of an armed robbery.
The Gainesville Sun has a statement from Florida coach Jim McElwain on Jackson:
"We are aware of the news involving J.C. Jackson, and he is currently dealing with a serious issue," UF coach Jim McElwain said. "We don't condone any of his actions, and it is not something that reflects on the expectations we have in the program. It is being handled accordingly due to the severity of his actions."
If Jackson is not totally cleared in this case, I think Florida's only means of handling this accordingly is taking the privilege of being a Florida Gator from him for good.