Football player arrested

Antonio Warren, a freshman defensive back on the USF football team, has been suspended from the team after being arrested Saturday night.

Warren said of his arrest that he was trying to help his friend.

?I was just trying to break up a fight,? he said. ?I don?t think I deserve to be arrested.?

Warren was charged with a third degree felony for improper exhibition of a weapon on school property. He was released Sunday after posting the $2,500 bail.

Meg Kelly, a sergeant for the University Police, said an officer was sent to the Holly C Residence Hall in response to a call about a fight. She said according to a police affidavit, a female student began fighting with her former boyfriend and three or four of his friends. Warren arrived after being called by the student?s friend.

?It appears as though the victim of the battery was friends with Warren,? she said.

Kelly said many of those involved had left the scene before police arrived.

?Apparently, there was no fight in progress when we arrived,? she said. ?(Warren) was the first person we came in contact with.?

Kelly said Warren was in possession of a box-cutter knife and was arrested for the weapons charges. Kelly said one other person was arrested for a warrant, but there were no other arrests made.

Kelly said the police report stated the possibility of an additional crime for which Warren was not charged.

?The report indicates a battery,? she said. ?A waiver was signed by the victim on the battery.?

A box cutter such as the one in Warren?s possession is a common piece of equipment. Kelly said in such situations, the arresting officer must make the determination of whether the instrument is a weapon.

?It could be a tool as well as a weapon; it has to be based on the intended use,? she said. ?(The officer) must have determined it was intended to be used as a weapon.?

The police affidavit stated the other men involved in the attack were gone before Warren arrived. Warren said he isn?t sure what happened to the men.

?I guess they must have run or got away,? he said.

Warren said he wasn?t using the knife as a weapon.

?With the box-cutter, my friend had it, and I took it from my friend,? he said. ?(The police) were thinking I was going out there with a box cutter to cut up people or something.?

Warren said there has not yet been a court date set for his case.

Coach Jim Leavitt confirmed Monday that Warren had been suspended from the team.

According to team policy, arrested players are suspended indefinitely while the legal process is ongoing.

Leavitt said he had talked to Warren and had discussed his player?s version of what occurred.

?Antonio told me it was a friend of his, they had an argument, and he went down to break it up,? he said.

Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz said Warren?s absence will be felt.

?Antonio was a guy all the players liked,? he said. ?We?re going to miss his spirit and his effort.?

Rob Brannon coversfootball and can be reached at