University of Florida linebacker Cristian Garcia made the most important stop of his life Thursday morning.
Garcia, who works security at 101 Cantina in Gainesville where UF is located, stopped an assault in which a man was arrested on sexual battery charges.
Christopher Shaw, 34, was arrested on sexual battery charges after police say he raped an unconscious 19-year-old woman behind the popular Gainesville bar early Thursday morning.
Following an investigation, detectives believe Shaw may have raped other women.
Police reported Garcia, a Miami native who played in one game last year, was taking out the trash at 2:20 a.m. Thursday morning when he spotted Shaw and the woman the two by the dumpsters.
He first thought they were having consensual intercourse. Once he got closer, he saw the girl was unconscious. He also saw the Shaw’s friends watching the assault take place, and doing nothing to help.
“The girl was basically unconscious, so I knew there was no way she could be giving consent,” Garcia told First Coast News. “I hold strong moral values and I don’t think anyone should be taken advantage of in that kind of way,” Garcia said.
Garcia and another witness walked up to Shaw, grabbed his shoulders and told him he needed to stop. That’s when Garcia said a clearly intoxicated Shaw became violent and threw a few punches.
The victim later told investigators in a hospital interview later that she did not know Shaw. She said she tried to push him away but kept losing consciousness, according to the police report.
Police arrested Shaw, and he was booked into the Alachua County Jail at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday on a sexual battery charge, where he remained Friday night in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
Garcia, a former standout at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, walked on to the Gators last season after previously working with the program’s video department. He played in one game last season for the Gators, recording two tackles in Florida’s 41-7 loss to Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.