Details emerge in Ole Miss offensive lineman’s arrest

Published 6:02 am Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ole Miss offensive lineman Rod Taylor’s arrest last weekend came after he didn’t ring up several grocery items while shopping in Oxford, something he told police happened because he was distracted by a phone call, according to a supplement case report obtained by the EAGLE Friday.

Taylor was arrested last Sunday at Walmart at 1:25 p.m. and booked into the Lafayette County Detention Center by officer Steven Lewis of the Oxford Police Department on a charge of misdemeanor larceny shoplifting. He was released on cash bond approximately two hours later.

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Taylor is scheduled to appear in municipal court May 25.

According to the report, Lewis was told by Gary Ferguson with Loss Prevention upon his arrival at Walmart that Taylor rang up some of the items from his buggy in a self-checkout aisle, swiped his debit card and then picked up unpaid items from his buggy and placed them in Walmart bags before putting them back in his buggy. The items Taylor didn’t pay for, which totaled $41.53, were two cans of baked beans, onions, potatoes, a 12-pack of grape soda, Ocean Spray juice, hamburger meat and one bag of charcoal.

Ferguson placed Taylor under arrest for the alleged theft, and Lewis put Taylor in handcuffs and walked him out to his patrol unit before another set of handcuffs were placed on Taylor, though a reason as to why wasn’t given in the report.

“Once at the vehicle, Taylor said he has had shoulder surgery and the handcuffs were too tight,” Lewis stated in the report. “Sgt. Wray handed me an extra set of handcuffs, and I placed two sets on Taylor.”

While being transported, Lewis said Taylor told him he forgot to ring up the items he didn’t pay for after he answered a phone call while checking out. Lewis said he reviewed the store’s video footage and didn’t see Taylor talking on the phone while checking out, according to the report.

“Any time, if we have a young man that makes a poor decision that gets an arrest, there is going to be consequences,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said Saturday. “I have plans that can decide how severe those consequences are based on what you do from this point forward with a poor decision. We all make them. It’s what you do with it after that … He knows exactly where we’re headed from here, and we’ll see what happens.”

Taylor, who will compete for a starting guard spot in the fall, sat out this spring as he recovers from offseason surgery on a torn labrum. The rising junior has four career starts.