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Flordia football player helps stop sexual assault incident

January 3, 2015: Florida Gators helmet during the Birmingham Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.
Scott Donaldson/Icon Sportswire

A University of Florida football player helped stop a sexual assault outside a bar in Gainesville on Thursday morning, per florida247sports.com.

The alleged assault reportedly occurred at around 2:20 a.m.  Linebacker Cristian Garcia was one of two people who reportedly witnessed Christopher Shaw, 34, sexually assaulting an intoxicated woman behind a dumpster near the 101 Cantina. Garcia, a junior who works security at the bar, attempted to defend the 19-year-old victim.

“The girl was basically unconscious, so I knew there was no way she could be giving consent,”‘ Garcia said. “I hold strong moral values and I don’t think anyone should be taken advantage of in that kind of way.”

The walk-on linebacker and a fellow coworker confronted Shaw, who became violent and began to throw punches at the two. Shaw was then injured and attempted to flee the scene.

“He was intoxicated and attempted to throw some punches, but he slipped and busted his face on the wall,”Garcia said.

Police found and arrested Shaw Thursday evening, and Garcia gave police a positive identification via a photo lineup. Gainesville police announced his arrest and asked for more information via Facebook.

Shaw was booked into Alachua County Jail with bail set at $500,000 for first-degree sexual assault. He denied any sexual contact with the alleged victim.

Garcia played in one game during the 2015 season. He recorded four tackles in Florida’s spring game and forced a fumble. While Garcia has not sen much playing time on the football field, the stop he made on Thursday is infinitely more important.

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