Florida signee arrested on felony kidnapping, felony battery by strangulation charges
Yeah, this isn’t a good look. At all.
According to 247Sports.com, the Orlando Sentinel and other media outlets, 2018 Florida signee Justin Watkins was arrested and booked into the Alachua County Jail Tuesday on four charges, including a pair of third-degree felonies (false imprisonment/kidnapping and domestic battery by strangulation) as well as two misdemeanors (first-degree battery).
No details of what led to the disturbing-sounding charges have been released, and Watkins remains jailed as of Tuesday night.
As a result of this incident, however, as well as another earlier this offseason, UF announced that “Watkins has been suspended immediately from all activities,” by head coach Dan Mullen.
In early May, Watkins, prior to enrolling at UF but after signing with the university, was arrested on one count of misdemeanor trespassing on school grounds. It’s alleged in that incident that a verbal argument between Watkins and an unidentified female turned violent as Watkins shattered the woman’s cellphone, kicked her vehicle and attempted to let the air out of her tires.
It’s unknown if the female victim in that incident is the same as the victim in this latest situation.
A four-star member of the Gators’ 2018 recruiting class, Watkins was rated as the No. 16 wide receiver in the country; the No. 20 player at any position in the state of Florida; and the No. 89 player overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. Only three players in UF’s class signed this past February were rated higher than Watkins.
Watkins recently enrolled in classes at UF.