Hurricanes football player’s lawyer alleges improper conduct by cops

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - The lawyer for University of Miami running back Mark Walton has accused cops of setting Walton up, Wednesday, after the Miami-Dade state attorney dropped charges against the player.

Walton said a woman swerved in front of his car, April 21, on U.S. 1. Both pulled over, and after he spoke to her, he followed the woman house. He gave her his cellphone number and left.

She texted him the next evening, “Hey! I am the girl you pulled over the other night. To be honest, I am little confused about what happened. But ultimately I got home safe, and I want to thank you for it.”

According to a police report, she then called police, telling them she thought Walton was an off-duty cop who acted inappropriately.

According to text messages, she texted him later, “The question is can you hang with me.”

When Walton went to her home and got out of his car, he said he was held at gunpoint by police and given a Breathalyzer test. “When I seen the gun, I mean, my intention is to run,” he said. “As soon as I try to run, you see all the police cars, unmarked cars, come. They tell me to get on the floor. I dove on the floor. That’s it.”

The 19-year-old was charged with DUI after blowing a 0.5 percent blood alcohol content. That is below the 0.8 percent blood alcohol content threshold, but Walton was charged because he is underage. His car was also searched for evidence he may have been trying to impersonate an officer.

The charges were dropped, Monday, and Walton has been reinstated to the Hurricanes football team. On Wednesday, he said he was happy to see it all come to an end.

“I’m just grateful everything came out,” Walton said, “and I’m happy to be back on the University of Miami campus.”

Walton and his lawyer, Joey McCall, believe police worked with the woman to lure him to her home so they could arrest him.

“What we’re saying is that it doesn’t seem like any proper procedures were followed,” McCall said, “and it seemed like when those proper procedures were not followed, there were steps to cover up the information and the reasons for why they were at that place, and why they arrested Mark.”

McCall said he will ask the Miami Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct internal investigations.

In a statement, Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes said, “Our investigation revealed there was no evidence of any prior relationship or association between the complainant and any of the officers involved in the surveillance and apprehension of Mr. Walton.”

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