By Christian Caple The News Tribune
SEATTLE – Washington linebacker John Timu, who was charged in December with two misdemeanor counts of second-degree vehicle prowling after he allegedly stole parking passes and sold them to teammates, has been suspended by UW coach Chris Petersen for the first two weeks of spring football practices after agreeing to a deal with the King County prosecutor.
According to his attorney, Mike Hunsinger, Timu agreed to a stipulated order of continuance — or deferred prosecution — on Feb. 24 that requires him to pay $500 in restitution, $150 in court fees and serve two days on a work crew. If he keeps a clean record for the next year, Hunsinger said, the charges will be dropped.
The order of continuance is “very common” for first-time offenders, Hunsinger said.
Timu, who is a senior linebacker, was not present at UW’s first spring football practice Tuesday. Petersen said only that he is suspended for two weeks, and would not elaborate.
According to court records obtained by the News Tribune, Timu was charged on Dec. 27 after UW police conducted an investigation throughout the month of November into reports of stolen parking passes in the E8 lot at the university.
On Sept. 26, a UW athletic department employee parked his 2007 Lexus, with the window rolled down, in the E8 lot next to Conibear Shellhouse. When he returned 20 minutes later, he found his parking pass was missing, according to police. He reported the theft the next day.
On Oct. 8, a UW tutor parked her 2013 Ford Escape in the same parking lot at about noon, and when she returned four hours later, a parking ticket had been placed on her windshield. According to police, she discovered her parking pass was missing.
On Nov. 14, a vehicle belonging to a former UW player was towed to the UW police department. After the player consented to a search of his vehicle, police found and recovered the E8 parking pass belonging to the UW tutor.
The player told police that he purchased the pass from Timu for $250, and showed police a copy of the personal check he had written to Timu.
According to the report, a current UW player was interviewed by UW police on Nov. 21. He told them a similar story — that he had purchased an E8 parking pass from Timu for $250. Police recovered the pass belonging to an athletic department employee from the current UW player’s vehicle the same day.
When police interviewed Timu on Nov. 27, he admitted to selling an E8 parking pass to the former UW player, but said he had been given the pass by a white male in the E8 parking lot. But after asking police to stop recording the conversation, Timu admitted that he had stolen two passes from vehicles in the E8 parking lot and sold them because “he needed the money very badly.”
According to court records, Timu stole the passes and told several players they were for sale. He later signed a statement admitting to stealing and selling the passes.
Timu is a two-year captain on the UW football team, and recorded 77 tackles and two sacks during the 2013 season.
He is the third player to be suspended by Petersen in the past month. Quarterback Cyler Miles and receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow are each serving indefinite suspensions while being investigated for an alleged assault that occurred on Feb. 2.
One other player was absent from UW’s spring practice on Tuesday — senior running back Jesse Callier, who Petersen said is handling an academic issue.
Petersen about ‘details’
One big difference between the new coaching staff and the last?
Senior center Mike Criste says it’s all about the details.
“The general feeling I got was just a lot more focus on tiny, tiny, tiny details, instead of the big picture,” Criste said. “Just focused on us individually and not the whole big scheme.”
With Miles suspended, UW quarterbacks Jeff Lindquist and Troy Williams split repetitions on Tuesday. Each made some decent throws, but there also were a few forgettable tosses — such as Lindquist’s two interceptions, one of which would have been returned for a touchdown by Shaq Thompson if it had occurred in a live setting.
“I thought they threw some good passes and threw some bad passes. But that’s why we’re out here working,” Petersen said. “We said from the start, we need a really good decision maker and an accurate thrower. And so I think you guys can see some of that. Some of it was really good, and some of it was … that’s why we practice.”