MLB is expected to investigate the arrest of Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna on domestic violence charges, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported.
Ozuna was arrested Saturday in Sandy Springs, Ga., an Atlanta suburb. He was booked into Fulton County Jail and charged with aggravated assault by strangulation and battery, according to jail records and a press release by the Sandy Springs Police Department.
The aggravated assault charge is a felony; the battery charge is a misdemeanor and is listed in jail records as a first offense. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Ozuna was being held without bond.
The Braves said in a statement Saturday night that they informed the commissioner’s office of the arrest.
“The Braves fully support Major League Baseball’s policy on domestic violence which stresses to the fullest that our society cannot and will not tolerate domestic violence in any form,” the team said in its statement. “Until the investigation is completed, we will have no further comment and all inquiries into the matter should be referred to the Office of the Commissioner.”
MLB had not commented as of late Saturday night.
Sandy Springs police said in the release that the department received a 911 call from the Ozuna residence at 12:26 p.m. Saturday. Officers claimed that when they arrived at the scene, they saw Ozuna grabbing his wife by her neck and “throwing her against a wall.” Ozuna was arrested “without further incident,” per the release. Police alleged that Ozuna also used the cast he is wearing on his injured left hand to strike his wife.
Ozuna, 30, fractured the ring and middle fingers on the hand while sliding Tuesday against the Red Sox in Boston. The Braves said this week that the injury was expected to sideline him for at least six weeks.
An MLB investigation would attempt to determine whether Ozuna violated its joint domestic violence policy with the players association. Commissioner Rob Manfred has the power to suspend Ozuna if he determines a violation occurred.
Penalties vary based on the circumstances of each case. The last player to be suspended under the policy, free-agent pitcher Sam Dyson, was banned for the entire 2021 season. Yankees pitcher Domingo German was suspended for 81 games in January 2020. The Dodgers’ Julio Urias was suspended for 20 games in August 2019.
The Braves re-signed Ozuna in the offseason to a four-year, $65 million contract. The pact also includes a $15 million club option for a fifth season.
Ozuna’s wife, Genesis, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery against her husband one year ago Saturday. The Miami Herald reported that Marcell Ozuna reported the incident to police in Doral, Fla., about two weeks prior to the arrest. His wife allegedly threw a soap dish at him during a lengthy argument, striking him in the head. Police said the couple exchanged blows during the dispute.
Genesis Ozuna pleaded not guilty and was ordered to stay away from her husband, according to court records obtained by the Herald.
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