Posted: 8:54 am Thursday, November 12th, 2009
By Post Staff
Former Pahokee standout wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson and two of his Tennessee teammates are each charged with three counts of armed robbery after being arrested today at 2 a.m.
Richardson, a true freshman who earned national notoriety by spurning Florida for Tennessee on Signing Day last February, and fellow freshmen Janzen Jackson and Mike Edwards were arrested shortly after allegedly robbing a customer with a semi-automatic weapon outside a Pilot convenience store, according to a police report.
Police said that the men, all 18, were carrying a small handgun and wearing hooded sweatshirts when at least one of them approached the victim in the parking lot and demanded everything that they had. They were arrested several minutes later. A female companion of the players was also arrested on armed robbery charges and also faces drug charges after police allegedly found marijuana and a grinder.
“At this time we are currently evaluating the circumstances surrounding an incident involving Mike Edwards, Janzen Jackson and Nu’Keese Richardson,” UT athletic director Mike Hamilton said in a statement. “Any decisions or comments regarding their status will not be made until the evaluations are complete.”
Full details of the incident, from Knoxville Police public information officer Darrell DeBusk:
The victims stated that moments before calling 911, they were sitting in their parked vehicle, a 1998 Hyundai Elantra on the southwest corner of the convenience store, while their friend was inside. The victims stated they had parked next to a light blue Toyota Prius. The victims stated that a black male then approached, wearing a black hoodie, brandished a black semi-auto handgun, opened the drivers door and stated, “Give me everything you have.”
The victims stated that a black male then exited from the passenger side of the Prius, wearing a black hoodie, walked around to the front passenger door of their car, opened it, and stated, “Give us everything you’ve got.” The victims stated that they all presented their wallets to the suspects and showed them that they did not have money. The victims stated that a third black male then approached and told the other two black males, “We’ve got to go.” The victims then stated that the three got into the Prius and that it was last seen traveling southbound on Volunteer Blvd West.
A witness indicated there was a female driving the car and that it was occupied by three black males when she had observed it. As we continued to investigate, assisting officers observed the suspect vehicle in question, traveling near Gibbs Hall on Lake Loudoun Blvd. A felony stop was conducted on the vehicle, a 2010 Toyota Prius, light blue in color, on Neyland Dr near Leinard Ln. Four subjects were detained from the vehicle: a light-skinned black female, Marie Montmarquet (DOB 070587), and three black males: Janzen Jackson (DOB 121490), Michael Edwards (DOB 042691) and Nukeese Richardson (DOB 121790).
In plain view, officers observed two black hoodies on the back seat. Underneath the back seat towards the middle, officers located a black, CO2 powered pellet gun. Inside the glove box, officers located a marijuana grinder. A search of the suspects revealed one clear plastic baggie containing a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana in Montmarquet’s jacket pocket. Montmarquet would later state that the marijuana grinder also belonged to her. Crime Lab responded to the scene and confiscated the hoodies, the pellet gun and the marijuana grinder. The vehicle was towed to the City Impound lot. The marijuana was confiscated by officers.
All three players are considered significant building blocks for the Vols, who are 5-4 in Lane Kiffin’s first season.
Richardson and Jackson were the stars of Tennessee’s National Signing Day in February. Both were previously committed to other schools — Richardson to Florida, Jackson to LSU — but Kiffin entered the game late and convinced both players to spurn their schools and sign with the Vols.
Richardson then indirectly caused a war of words between Florida and Tennessee when Kiffin accused Urban Meyer of cheating while bragging to a Volunteer booster club about stealing Richardson away from the Gators.
But Richardson has had a disappointing first year in Tennessee. Hyped as a potential Reggie Bush impact player, Richardson has just 400 all-purpose yards this year as a rusher, receiver and kick returner. He didn’t get to play in the Vols’ 23-13 loss to Florida in September, and was disciplined by Kiffin last week for skipping practice amid rumors he would transfer.
Janzen has starred as soon as he arrived on campus, and started the first seven games of the season at safety. He has 32 tackles and a forced fumble, but was suspended from last weekend’s win over Memphis due to an undisclosed violation of team rules.