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FSU's Janikowski arrested for bribery

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Posted: Sunday January 23, 2000 07:51 PM

  Sebastian Janikowski Sebastian Janikowski is skipping his senior year at Florida State to enter the NFL draft. Andy Lyons/Allsport

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Sebastian Janikowski, Florida State's two-time All-American kicker, was arrested at a nightclub early Sunday and accused of attempting to bribe a police officer into releasing his roommate.

The arrest was yet another problem with the law for the championship Florida State team.

Bribery is a third-degree felony but it is up to the state attorney's office to officially charge Janikowski. However, police said he can be charged with greater or lesser offenses.

Janikowski was released from Leon County jail at 7:42 a.m., on $1,000 bail. If found guilty, he faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine

The arrest stems from a dispute at The Grove nightclub, where police Officer Chris Knight was working as an off-duty bouncer. The club told Knight that Janikowski was welcome, but his friends were not, police said. Knight told Janikowski's roommate, Aaron Silverman, to leave.

Silverman refused and after several warnings was taken into custody, police said. Janikowski approached Knight as he was doing paperwork in his patrol car and asked a few questions.

When Knight looked up again, "Janikowski was smiling at him and counting out money," police said. "Janikowski stepped back to the car and asked 'How much?'"

Police said Janikowski offered $300 to persuade Knight to let his friend go.

Janikowski has kicked 50 field goals the past two seasons, with most of his kickoffs beyond the end zone. He is the only current player on a recently selected college team of the century.

Earlier this month, Janikowski said he will leave school a year early to enter the NFL. He has said he wants to turn pro so his mother in Poland can join him in the United States.

Janikowski is known to frequent late-night spots around Tallahassee. While in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, he missed curfew.

The Seminoles' most prominent legal trouble this past season involved star wide receiver Peter Warrick and teammate Laveranues Coles in connection with a department store scam.

Warrick was suspended two games and reinstated after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Coles was kicked off the team.

Several other players also had run-ins with the law, ranging from marijuana possession to drunken driving.

Janikowski's arrest came only hours after he was honored at a Florida State football banquet. Earlier Saturday, the entire team was feted by more than 25,000 fans at a celebration also attended by the governor and several top state officials.

 
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