Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Minor League Pitcher Charged With Felonious Assault in Brawl
The AP reports that Peoria Chiefs pitcher Julio Castillo will be charged with felonious assault in the aftermath of a brawl between the Chiefs and the Dayton Dragons. Castillo has been arraigned and ordered to give up his passport.
During a bench-clearing brawl (which you can view in its lengthy entirety here or here, Castillo seems to have thrown a baseball towards a member of the opposing team, or perhaps (as some reports suggested, but as the video seems to contradict) towards the opposing team's dugout. The baseball went into the stands, however, and struck 44-year-old fan Chris McCarthy.
In Ohio, the crime of "felonious assault" requires that a person knowingly cause "serious physical harm to another" or knowingly "cause or attempt to cause physical harm to another . . . by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance." The fan here was released from the hospital that night, so it would not seem that we have a case of "serious" physical harm. Instead, what the prosecutor must be thinking is that a baseball, at least in the hands of a single-A pitcher, constitutes a deadly weapon.
"This charge is a result of outlandish and inexcusable conduct by a professional baseball player," Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. said in a statement.Perhaps true. But there are numerous examples of inexcusable conduct during bench-clearing brawls that don't lead to criminal charges. What is obviously different here is that a fan got bloodied.
For a discussion of criminal liability for on-field behavior, see Greg's posts here and here.
-- Posted by Geoffrey Rapp @ Comments (4) -- Post a Comment 7/26/2008 10:46:00 AM --