A University of Florida student who was shocked with a Taser after persistently questioning Sen. John Kerry will avoid criminal charges by apologizing and complying with terms of a voluntary 18-month probation, authorities said Tuesday.
Andrew Meyer, 21, yelled “Don’t Tase me, bro!” as he scuffled with officers during the campus speech last month. In letters to the university, its president and the campus police department, he apologized, attorney Robert Griscti said.
“I made the decision to supersede the rules, and for that I apologize,” Meyer wrote. “I should have acted calmer and obeyed the directives of the officers. If I had, none of the subsequent issues would ever have arisen.”
State Attorney William Cervone said Meyer agreed to conduct himself “in a fashion that demonstrates his ability to behave appropriately and without violating the law” during 18 months of probation.
“If he is successful in doing so, the case against him will be closed without formal court action,” Cervone said in a statement.
Cervone said charges of resisting an officer without violence and interfering with a school function would be dismissed if Meyer complied. University police had recommended he be charged with resisting arrest with violence, a felony, and disturbing the peace and interfering with school administrative functions, a misdemeanor.
Meyer demanded a chance to question the former Democratic presidential candidate about the 2004 election and his and President Bush’s alleged involvement in the secret Skull and Bones society when they were students at Yale University in the 1960s.
Officers rushed Meyer after he kept shouting questions, finally shocking him in a scuffle captured in at least 19 video clips. Segments distributed online won widespread attention.
Police said Meyer’s tone changed when he was placed in a patrol car, where he was recorded telling the officers they didn’t do anything wrong, according to a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The officers involved returned to work last week after the FDLE determined it was an appropriate use of force.
In his letters, Meyer denied allegations he intended to cause a scene.
“I’m so sorry that I lost my control in that auditorium,” he wrote. “I went there to ask an important question. The question of voter disenfranchisement in America cuts to the heart of our democracy, and my failure to act calmly resulted in this important town forum ending without the discourse intended. For that, I am truly sorry.”
Meyer, a communications major, said he was taking a leave of absence but would return to school in January.
“I am a far more reasoned individual than I was a short while ago, and the reasoned response of the university has helped me a great deal,” Meyer wrote.
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