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Three AWC football players arrested in armed robbery
Three Arizona Western College football players were arrested on charges of armed robbery, theft and aggravated assault after a holdup in a residence hall room Monday evening.
Arrested were Tony Grimes, 20, of Miramar, Fla., Khambrel Garland, 20, of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Nygee Lockhart, 21, of Clemmons, N.C.
According to the AWC Police Department, at about 5:30 p.m. officers responded to report of an armed robbery in one of the college's dorm rooms.
Once there, the victim told officers he was confronted by the suspects, who robbed him of his cash while brandishing a bladed weapon. The victim was not injured.
An investigation led to the identification of four suspects, all AWC students. Assisted by the Yuma Police Department, AWC police took three of the suspects into custody at the college. A fourth suspect was later detained.
All of the suspects were taken to the Yuma Police Department for questioning, which resulted in three of them being arrested and booked into the Yuma County jail. The fourth suspect was released from custody.
Grimes, Garland and Lockhart made their initial appearances in Yuma Justice Court Tuesday afternoon before Yuma Justice of the Peace Pro Tem Yolanda Torok. She set their next court appearances for Thursday, when they would be told if criminal complaints had been filed against them.
Torok also set their bonds at more than $7,400 each for Grimes and Garland, and $25,000 for Lockhart.
All three players appeared to have promising football careers before eventually winding at AWC, where they were to compete for starting spots in the backfield of a Matadors team that finished its season last year with an 11-1 record, which included playing for a national championship. They eventually lost to Eastern Mississippi 55-47 in the El Toro Bowl.
Grimes played for the Matadors last season, starting for the team in the bowl game after transferring from Ole Miss. He was suspended from the Rebels for a violation of team rules near the end of the 2010 season and was dismissed from the team after just one semester on campus.
After spending another semester at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, Grimes left the program and eventually accepted a scholarship to AWC.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Garland was named one of the top 50 recruits in Broward County by the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. He was highly recruited coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, which won the Class 5A state title with an undefeated 15-0 record.
Garland signed with Northern Illinois University on a scholarship offer earlier this year but eventually wound up at AWC. According to NIU's athletic website, Garland planned to be a criminal justice major.
Lockhart, a defensive back at West Forsyth High School, was the 27th-ranked player coming out of the state of North Carolina. A two-sport star, Lockhart also competed in track and field.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.