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Deion Sanders Arrested For Trespassing On Airport Lake

June 20, 1996 GMT

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ The fish were biting, and Deion Sanders couldn’t stay away.

Sanders was fishing with a friend Wednesday night when the Dallas Cowboys star was arrested for trespassing at a restricted lake on airport property.

A native of Fort Myers, Sanders said he is only home two or three days a year and the temptation of the lake’s large bass was just too great.

``The only defense I have is that I’m sorry, but they were biting,″ Sanders told the News-Press of Fort Myers. ``I wasn’t out there 10 minutes and they caught me. But I had 10 fish by that time.″

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Sanders, who had been warned twice not to fish there, was arrested by two officers from the Lee County Port Authority Police Department, said police spokeswoman Susan Sanders.

The lake is on property of the Southwest Florida International Airport and has no trespassing and no fishing signs posted, she said.

Deion Sanders, who owns a home just north of the airport, was warned verbally to stay out of the area May 7 and received a written warning May 9.

He was arrested on the first-degree misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He was released on his own recognizance. A court hearing is set for July 8.

Sanders’ friend, Stevohni C. Brooks, was issued a verbal warning because it was his first offense, the police spokeswoman said.