On Monday the Post asked Miami police for a response to the allegations made by the attorney for Mark Walton, who said the Hurricanes running back was the victim of a “warrant-less and unauthorized sting operation” run by police which led to him being arrested for driving under the influence.
It’s unclear why Walton was in a residential neighborhood in Coconut Grove before 3:45 a.m. on April 23, before he was arrested for DUI. His legal team believes he was set up.
Walton’s attorney, Joey McCall, alleged in an interview with the Post that Miami police, collaborating with a female accuser, lured Walton to the accuser’s house and asked him via text message to come inside. McCall said Walton refused, and two officers approached Walton with guns drawn. McCall said the so-called sting happened because of a preexisting personal relationship between one of the officers and the accuser.
In a statement distributed via email on Tuesday, police chief Rodolfo Llanes said police acted “in accordance with the law” and the policy of his department, and that the state’s decision not to prosecute Walton for DUI should not carry a presumption of wrongdoing.
“Mr. Walton was taken into custody based upon probable cause, which is the legal standard required to effect an arrest. Mr. Walton’s physical contact with the Miami Police Department began with visual observations of possible impaired driving. Further investigation revealed he was driving with a suspended license. Mr. Walton’s eventual blood alcohol level was below the .08 threshold, however it should be noted that Mr. Walton is not of age to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages. The declination to file criminal charges as a function of prosecutorial discretion should not be used to presume wrongdoing on the part of the Miami Police Department or any of its officers. Our investigation revealed there was no evidence of any prior relationship or association between the complainant and any of the officers involved in the surveillance and apprehension of Mr. Walton. Furthermore the officers involved acted in accordance with the law and Departmental policy.”
After Walton was arrested on April 23, UM suspended him indefinitely. The school reinstated him Monday after the state attorney’s office dropped all charges against him.
McCall said he would pursue “various [kinds] of civil remedies” to restore Walton’s reputation, but did not say whether litigation would be among them.