College quarterback has suspension lifted after cops mistake cocaine for BIRD POOP
Drug charges have been dropped against the Georgia Southern University starting quarterback after police officers mistook bird poop for cocaine.
Prosecutors in Saluda County, South Carolina told the Savannah Morning News on Thursday that possession of cocaine charge against 21-year-old Shai Werts has been cleared.
Werts was originally arrested in his hometown of Clinton, South Carolina on July 31 after police officers pulled him over for speeding.
He was charged with a misdemeanor for cocaine possession and speeding. Following the news, he was suspended from Georgia Southern University team activities.
That suspension has now been lifted.
In dashcam footage of the arrest, officers are tailing behind Werts' 2016 Dodge Charger before pulling him over. After Werts steps out of his car, officers arrest him and place him in the back seat of the patrol car. Officers then proceed to search Werts car, paying particular attention to the hood.
An officer approaches Werts and asks, 'What's the white stuff on the front of your hood, man?'
To which Werts replies, 'bird s**t'.
The officers don't believe Werts claims and repeatedly ask what the substance on his car hood is. The officers administrated a field test to verify the substance and told Werts the results were positive.
'I swear to God it's not [bird poo],' the officer says, 'because I just tested it and that turned pink.'
Officers tell Werts the substance tested positive for cocaine.
'I have no reason to lie about cocaine,' Werts said, 'I play football. Sir, I don't do cocaine.'The Southern Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced that they had tested to alleged sample and detected no controlled substance.
Deputy Solicitor for the 11th Judicial Circuit, Al Eargle told Savannah Morning News, 'After I extensively looked at everything that law enforcement presented to me, I came to the conclusion that I couldn't meet that burden of proof.'
Werts' attorney, Townes Jones IV, said, 'They'd have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt' that Werts was responsible for the substance's presence on his vehicle.' Jones also said the prosecutors couldn't prove Werts knew the substance was on his car.
Although the drug charge has been dropped, Werts is still being charged with speeding.
Jones has advised Werts not to seek a public apology from the Saluda County Sheriff's Office.
'They had a pretty credible basis for pursuing, and ultimately stopping him and that is speeding,' Jones said.
He continued,' Then they didn't do anything wrong by attempting to collect evidence, or what they saw as evidence even though they had no basis from looking at him and looking at the inside of his car to think that he was transporting drugs.'
Werts was alerted of the news on Thursday around 5.15pm when Jones called him.
The Savannah Morning News reported Werts was,'happy to hear the news' and 'confident that's what would ultimately happen.'The Georgia Southern University athletic director, Tim Kleinlein announced on Friday that the team was 'elated' to hear the news.
Werts is no longer suspended from team activities.