Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was arrested Saturday for aggravated assault by strangulation and family violence, after officers allege they witnessed him grab his wife by the neck, and throw her against a wall.
Ozuna, 30, was arrested by the Sandy Springs police and held without bond at at the Fulton County jail. Sandy Springs is city about 16 miles north of Atlanta in Fulton County.
The SSPD posted a press release with details of the arrest on its website.
According to the release, officers responded to a 911 call received 12:26 p.m. on Saturday “regarding an assault in progress” at a residence at Windsor Cove. Upon arriving at the scene, officers say they heard screaming coming from inside the apartment. Officers entered the apartment, according to the release, where they allegedly witnessed a suspect identified as Marcell Ozuna “grabbing the victim by the neck and throwing her against a wall.” Ozuna, who is currently on MLB’s Injured List with two broken fingers, allegedly struck the victim with his arm, which is in a cast, according to the release. The release states that the alleged altercation took place between Ozuna and his wife, and that Ozuna was taken into custody “without further incident.” The release also noted that Ozuna’s wife had visible injuries but was not taken to a hospital.
“Preliminary investigation has revealed this incident to be domestic related between the suspect and his wife, both residents of the Windsor Cove home,” read the release.
Here’s a screenshot of the release:
The Atlanta Braves, who are in New York for a series with the Mets, released a statement on the arrest:
“We learned of Marcell Ozuna’s arrest earlier this evening and immediately informed the Commissioner’s Office. 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. 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.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Major League Baseball is expected to conduct an investigation into Ozuna, and “could suspend him under the league’s jointly negotiated policy with the MLB Players Association.”
Ozuna is already out of the Atlanta lineup for six weeks with broken fingers. Given his arrest, it’s probably fair to expect we won’t see the two-time All-Star again in 2021, at the very least.
Major League Baseball has been fairly aggressive in disciplining for domestic violence, even in cases where no charges were brought, as was the case with Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán, who recently finished an 81-game ban that included all of last season. Former Rangers closer Sam Dyson is banned for this entire season in another case where he was not arrested.
Atlanta’s statement on the arrest was boilerplate, but what could the team really say? The question, anyway, is how the team and its players react when the investigation is completed and MLB and/or the legal system punishes Ozuna. In February, Yankees reliever Zack Britton admirably spoke out about Germán’s impending return, saying, “Sometimes you don’t get to control who your teammates are and that’s the situation. I don’t agree with what he did. I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field or at all.”
What we’ll learn about baseball’s continued evolution in this area is down the road.
Ozuna, who has been in the league since 2013 (Marlins, Cardinals and Braves), signed a four-year, $65 million contract to stay in Atlanta this offseason and was a two-time All-Star in Miami. He finished sixth in NL MVP voting last year.
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