NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Saturday, July 23, 2016, 4:37 PM
A heroic University of Florida football player helped save an incapacitated teen from an alleged sexual assault behind a bar’s dumpster, a rescue that may have led cops to a serial sex offender.
Cristian Garcia, a linebacker for the UF football team, witnessed the alleged attack about 2 a.m. Thursday when he was taking out the trash at the Gainesville, Fla., bar 101 Cantina, where he works security.
At first glance, he believed the 19-year-old victim and the suspect, Christopher Lee Shaw, were having consensual sex as they were pressed up against the dumpster, but then realized the woman was incoherently drunk.
“The girl was basically unconscious, so I knew there was no way she could be giving consent,” Garcia told First Coast News.
Garcia, along with another man, then pulled Shaw, 34, away from the teenage victim.
Cristian Garcia is credited with helping rescue a 19-year-old woman who was allegedly raped behind a bar near the Gainesville campus.
“I turned around and pulled the guy by the shoulder and said, ‘Get off.’ That pretty much ended the situation then. He was intoxicated and attempted to throw some punches, but he slipped and busted his face on the wall,” he told GatorSports.com.
The Gainesville police department obtained a video of the incident which reveals that “the victim was mentally and physically unable to give consent due to their level of intoxication. The victim was slumping over and unable to hold up her head,” a police reported cited by the Miami Herald read.
The unidentified victim woke up in the hospital the following morning and told police that she did not know Shaw and that she attempted to push the man away from her but kept losing consciousness.
Garcia and the second witness later identified Shaw in a photo lineup.
“I hold strong moral values and I don’t think anyone should be taken advantage of in that kind of way,” Garcia told First Coast News.
Shaw told police that the woman pulled him toward her and that they had only kissed. His account has been contradicted by video of the incident, police said. He has been charged with sexual battery.
Police said they have “reason to believe” Shaw committed other sexual assaults in the Gainesville area based on interviews with the suspect and “evidence they collected during a search warrant,” Gainesville police department spokesperson Ben Tobias told the Daily News.
Tobias urged “for any victims to come forward,” if they believe they were attacked by the suspect.
Christopher Shaw was charged with sexual battery.
Shaw was charged with battery against a police officer two years ago when he attacked a cop during a bar fight.
Garcia is a Miami native who was a walk-on to the Gators football team last season after working with the sports program’s video department, the Miami Herald reported.
He played in one game last season against Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.