By KATRINA GULSTAD
Orem police cited BYU football player Jaron Dabney with a misdemeanor for shoplifting Tuesday, but Dabney emphatically denied the charge.
When asked about the citation, Dabney said, “I’ve never heard that. That’s absurd. This is my first time ever hearing anything of that manner.”
Orem police Lieutenant Doug Edwards said Jaron Dabney, of Provo, was cited Tuesday afternoon with a class B misdemeanor for shoplifting a designer shirt Monday night from ZCMI department store at University Mall.
Officer Ernie Ellsworth said he spoke with Dabney Tuesday and issued the citation for Monday night’s incident.
However, Dabney said it must be someone else, and that he’ll get to the bottom of it. He said he had never heard about it before.
A ZCMI employee and two shoppers chased the suspect from the south exit of ZCMI Monday night. The suspect escaped by darting across University Parkway.
Police arrived at the scene, took a report, and later located an individual fitting the suspect’s description.
“The suspect fled security, and was apparently identified by a planner that was left behind,” Edwards said. No arrests were made Monday night, but police identified a suspect through identification found in the planner.
Police further investigated the shoplifting and issued the citation Tuesday afternoon. “It was handled fairly routinely. We typically will issue a citation for shoplifting,” Edwards said.
Citations are different from physical arrests in that the suspect does not go to jail, but still has to appear in court. “It is like signing a promise to appear in court,” Edwards said.
Dabney’s court date was set for March 10. Carrie Jenkins, BYU associate director of public communications, said the incident will be referred to the Honor Code office, and that the case will be handled on an individual basis.
Dabney, from Sealy, Texas, was WAC Mountain Division Freshman of the Year. He returned kicks, punts and played wide receiver and running back for the BYU football team.
The BYU Football Office said they had not heard of the incident.