Posted on July 7, 2004

3 FIU Players Jailed In Robbery Attempt, Jul. 6

MIAMI — Three Florida International football players were arrested, including one who was charged with attempted murder for firing a gun into an occupied car, campus police said Monday. All three were suspended from the team.

Everett Baker, Randy Arnold and Diamos Demerritt were denied bond Monday in their first court appearance and locked up in a Miami-Dade County jail. Their next hearing was set for July 26.

All three were charged with six felony counts for their alleged roles in an on-campus robbery attempt, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records. Their cases were assigned to the public defender’s office.

The incident occurred shortly before midnight Saturday as two FIU students were sitting in a car outside the university’s student apartments, said Maydel Santana-Bravo, a spokeswoman for the university.

Five men approached the car on foot and one, identified by police as Baker, began firing a gun into the car, Santana-Bravo said. Two of the five allegedly were Arnold and Demerritt.

“The two individuals in the car took off unharmed,” Santana-Bravo said.

She said no other details were immediately available. Campus police are expected to file an official report today.

Two other men in the group are still at large.

Baker, 20, of Kissimmee, faces the most serious charge: felony attempted murder for firing into an occupied car. He was also charged with two counts of armed robbery, possession of a weapon on school grounds and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, all felonies.

Arnold, 20, of Tallahassee, faces two counts each of armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon on school grounds.

Demerritt, 21, of Miami, is charged with two counts of armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a weapon on school grounds and carrying a concealed weapon.

“This is being taken very, very seriously by everyone,” Santana-Bravo said. “Obviously, everyone is upset by it. The moment these three men were arrested they were also suspended from the football team. . . Now they’ll be suspended until their legal situation is cleared up. They will be off the team for the foreseeable future.”

Baker started seven games at cornerback for the Golden Panthers last season and was expected to return to that role this season.

Demerritt started two games at running back but was limited to eight games because of injuries.

Arnold was a reserve cornerback who played in all 12 games, starting one.

“Obviously these allegations are very serious and we’re extremely disappointed,” FIU Athletic Director Rick Mello said Monday. “Right now, we are doing everything we can to find out as many facts as we possibly can. Understand that we treat these matters very seriously and we will take appropriate action in accordance with university policy.”

Arnold had an arrest record before getting his scholarship, according to state police files.

In March 2001, Leon County sheriff’s deputies arrested Arnold as a juvenile on three felony counts: exhibition of a destructive device on school property, carrying a concealed firearm and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, according to FDLE records. The records did not indicate the final disposition of the charges.

Staff Writers Megan O’Matz, Cindy Kent and special correspondent Daniel Izquierdo contributed to this report.

Comments from Readers

From: Drew

This makes me think of an incident that happened the other day. A brother of a famous NFL football player was arrested for driving 85 mph in a 67 mph? zone and oh, had two bags of marijuana on him. This event adds to his problems as he was recently arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and having sex with a girl who was underage. I guess in the scheme of things, these offenses aren’t too bad. I mean he didn’t rape the girl and as far as I know, he hasn’t shot anyone.

The hypocritical newspaper said it hopes the university will not let the brother of the famous NFL football player continue to play on the football team, so as not to sell its soul to purchase shallow athletic glories. This university has already sold its soul.