During the early hours of Thursday, 21 July 2016, Cristian Garcia, a walk-on junior linebacker for the Florida Gators, helped stop a sexual assault that was occurring behind 101 Cantina, a bar where he worked as security in Gainesville, Florida. He and a co-worker stopped the sexual battery. Mr. Garcia said, “I was taking out the garbage, and I saw the man pressing the woman up against the Dumpster. At first the guy said she was his girlfriend, but about five seconds later I realized the girl was unconscious. I turned around and pulled the guy by the shoulder and said, ‘Get off.’ That pretty much ended the situation then. He was intoxicated and attempted to throw some punches, but he slipped and busted his face on the wall.” The 19-year-old woman was intoxicated and unable to walk on her own. Mr. Garcia said, “I hold strong moral values and I don’t think anyone should be taken advantage of in that kind of way. The girl was basically unconscious, so I knew there was no way she could be giving consent.” Gainesville police charged the suspect with sexual battery. After regaining consciousness in a hospital, the woman said she did not know the suspect and had not consented to having sex with him. Mr. Garcia’s cousin, Zach Schabbel, said about him, “He’s a stand-up guy. You know, always been that way since we were babies. Like, if we’d ever get into some type of trouble, he’d always be the first one to step out and speak. He’s always been vocal. I’m not honestly surprised.” Mr. Garcia gave some advice for people out drinking: “It’s important that you don’t leave without any friends. I mean, this girl, her friends had completely left her at the bar alone when she was blackout drunk.” Friends of the suspect were present during the sexual batter, according to Mr. Garcia, who said, “They were there on the other side of the dumpster. Maybe they didn’t see it, I can’t say 100 percent, but they were there.”
For More Information:
“Gators LB Cristian Garcia helps stop sexual assault behind bar.” ESPN. 22 July 2016 <http://tinyurl.com/h6jkeat>. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Peter Holley, “He thought the couple were having sex outside a bar. Then he realized she was unconscious.” Washington Post. 23 July 2016 <http://tinyurl.com/yb3d9b97>.