It appears the path has been cleared for the return of one of Miami’s most explosive playmakers on the offensive side of the ball.
Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that all charges, including a DUI, against Mark Walton were dropped by the state attorney’s office during a court proceeding Monday morning. The running back was charged April 23 with DUI, along with knowingly driving with a suspended license. He was also investigated for impersonating an officer and groping a woman, although he was never charged.
According to a police affidavit, the arresting officer noticed Walton “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his mouth” and that “his eyes were watery and bloodshot.” Walton had registered a .059 and .06 BAC on two separate breathalyzer tests, which is below the legal limit of .08. However, he was above the legal limit of .02 for underaged drinkers, leading to the initial charges.
In the wake of the arrest, Walton was indefinitely suspended by first-year head coach Mark Richt. While a UM official declined to address Walton’s status with the team, even off the record, it’s expected the sophomore will be reinstated in time for the start of summer camp early next month.
In speaking with the Post‘s Porter, Walton’s attorney criticized law enforcement for their handling of the situation that led to the suspension.
“Police have to be more careful than that,” Joey McCall told the Post. “They cannot just parade people in front of the media as if the arrest means the person is guilty.
“For Mark, he is a college football player. These off-the-field incidents are evaluated by professional teams when they’re making their evaluations on where to draft him. … I think this is something that has to be remedied.”
(For additional details on the ofttimes bizarre situation, click HERE for slaterscoops.com’s accounting of events.)
McCall also hinted that civil litigation may be in the offing.
As a true freshman last season, Walton led the Hurricanes with nine rushing touchdowns and 10 total touchdowns, and was second with 450 yards rushing. His 293 receiving yards were fifth on the team and tops among running backs. He was also second on the team with 1,054 all-purpose yards.