THE NOT-SO-GREAT HEIST: Charleston Southern University football teammates Tyrone Lattimore, Zachery Hillery, Ronald Jay Baldner, and Samual Baptiste teamed up to rob a couple — and scored $7.50 a piece for their efforts.
Bad idea, Ch. 1
Man, there must have been something in the air last week. A rash of arrests across the sports world, with most of them involving college football players. And not little piddly-widdly, penny-ante, wuss-bunny arrests, either, but serious, man-size, you’re-looking-at-some-years-son felony arrests.
The worst (and stupidest) of these might have taken place in South Carolina, where four men associated with the Charleston Southern University football team were arrested and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping. It is really difficult to describe, with accurate pathos, exactly how tragic and tragically idiotic this crime was.
Here goes: Tyrone Lattimore (the CSU starting running back), Zachery Hillery, Ronald Jay Baldner, and Samual Baptiste are all staring down the barrel of two major felonies, but get this — all they got was 30 bucks!
Apparently two of these men, armed and in masks, approached a young couple in the parking lot. The men told the male victim to get behind the wheel of the car and drive. They drove to an apartment complex, took the $30 or so both victims had, then ran away.
This ingenious crime somehow involved four men, though, which means they got to split the $30 four ways, with each man having almost enough to eat a Steak and Shake dinner. Sounds worth 10 years in prison to me.
A sad commentary on the declining level of criminal sophistication among collegiate athletes. Hell, just a few years ago in the Palmetto State, football players at the University of South Carolina were smart enough to steal whole laptops without a gun. Sixty points apiece for the goofballs.
Bad idea, Ch. 2
A former Ohio state-wrestling champion and current Miami of Ohio football player gets drunk. He’s walking around his dorm feeling frisky. He opens some chick’s door, walks into her room, lies on top of her, puts a pillow over her face. She screams. He is surprised that she is not rolling with the situation, gets up, and flees. She runs after him. He gets popped and then it’s discovered that he walked into someone else’s room the same night.
The arrest of Zachary Marshall would be Cecil “The Diesel” Collins all over again, except the Diesel was sober when he walked into women’s bedrooms. The Diesel’s thing was also watching couples sleep together, not women all by themselves. Either way, this is not a good way to further your athletic career.
Surprisingly, the court was lenient with Marshall, giving him 60 days in jail, four months of house arrest, supervision, community service, and treatment. The judge called it a binge-drinking episode and did not classify it as a sex crime. I’m giving the asshole 51 points.
Bad idea, Ch. 3
Then there was high-school-football star Dakota Woods in Smyrna, Tennessee. Someone looked at his MySpace page and noticed a photo of a 7-year-old holding two handguns. That person called the cops, who came to the Woods house and discovered not only the handguns but three pill containers with nails and gunpowder inside, a miniature bat with screws sticking out of it, and two daggers.
Woods was arrested for reckless endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and felony possession of an explosive device. Not sure who the minors were at the house, probably little brothers. This is a kid who needs some new hobbies. Forty-eight points for the weapon/endangerment charges.
Bad idea, Ch. 4
If you’re going to steal someone’s credit card and use it, you should . . . actually, there aren’t too many ways to do that without getting caught. But you certainly shouldn’t do what University of North Texas wideout Forrest Rucker did: admit your crime to the female college student you took it from via multiple text messages, then later admit to police you bought $397.34 worth of fast food, vending-machine purchases, and other crap at the local Golden Triangle Mall.
Two felony counts of credit-card/debit-card abuse, each count carrying a max of two years in jail. Goodbye, Forrest — don’t forget your 32 points.
Bad idea, Ch. 5
Former Jet and current New York Giant Kareem McKenzie got caught cutting through a gas-station parking lot. Cops pulled him over and he blew higher than .08 on the box. If you are drunk, weigh 327 pounds, and play professional football, do not cut through a gas-station parking lot: 25 points for Kareem.
When he’s not googling “Steak and Shakedown” and “child’s gunplay,” Matt Taibbi writes for Rolling Stone. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.