The story of Mark Walton and his interaction with police has been one of the biggest ones of the offseason for the Miami Hurricanes. The talented sophomore running back was arrested on April 23rd under suspicion of DUI and, reportedly at the time, impersonating a police officer.
In the days and weeks following that arrest, Walton's attorney's maintained their client's innocence. Several reports by Andy Slater of WINZ 940AM painted a picture that Walton was potentially set up by a number of entities, and that led to his legal situation.
Earlier this week, the DUI charge against Walton was dropped. This was the only charge he faced in this incident, despite early reports of the Impersonating An Officer portion of the events of April 23rd. After the dismissal of the only charge facing Walton, the University of Miami fully reinstated him to the Football Team.
This is not the end of the story, however. On Wednesday afternoon, Walton and his lawyer held a press conference where they detailed their version of events. This version is opposite of what the Miami Police allege occurred.
The David J. Neal of the Miami Herald had this article after the presser. Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel penned this. And Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post wrote this piece. All are articles you'll want to read, I'm sure.
The gist of the narratives is as follows:
The Police allege Walton, 19, pulled over a female one night posing as an officer. This impersonation was allegedly done so that Walton could grope the female inappropriately. The Police version continues that Walton returned to the home of the female early in the morning of April 23rd to continue this interaction. He was arrested then, and following a breathalyzer test was found to have a blood-alcohol level above the limit for a person under the age of 21. At that time he was arrested.
Walton and his attorney Joey McCall have a very different version of events. They say that Walton flagged the female down on April 22nd because she was driving erratically and almost struck Walton's car. After that, the female sent text messages to Walton, inviting him to her home on April 23rd. Following those messages, Walton went to her home. The story alleges that the female came outside of the house and Walton exited his car. Once Walton was outside of his car, the female returned inside her home, and Walton was immediately approached by several gentlemen in dark clothes with guns drawn. These individuals turned out to be the arresting police officers.
There's more to both sides of this story, but those are the broad strokes. There are big differences between those versions of events, as you can see. In the piece by Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post, there are several pdfs of the Police Report, statements by the alleged female victim, and by Walton's attorneys detailing their version of events, and even screenshots of the text messages between Walton and the unnamed female.
At the Wednesday press conference, Walton expressed his relief that the situation facing him is over. "I'm happy all this is over with," Walton said. "My biggest thing about this whole situation is the way they put dirt on my name. I'm just happy things came out the way they're supposed to come out. Hopefully, people will look at me the same way that they did before the situation."
Walton's attorneys could look to civil remedies against the Miami Police Department if they so choose. But, whether that happens or not, Mark Walton has put out his version of events, and is happy that the legal situation that faced him is finished.
Now, the focus turns to the 2016 Miami Hurricanes football season and putting this 2 month ordeal behind him. Hopefully for him, that will be easily done.