Jose Tabata, OF. Hit .348 with 3 HR and 13 RBI in 22 games with Altoona (AA) in 2008. Has wife 23 years his senior. She is accused of abducting a baby from a Florida health care clinic, and returning it the next day, explaining herself by saying "Oops." Mother of four teenagers born before she met Tabata, she spent nearly three years in Florida prison for stealing $20,000 from a paycheck advance store, then standing lookout as an accomplice set a fire to conceal the theft. Enjoys gardening, macrame.
Or as Plant City sheriffs department spokesman Dave Bristow summed it up on Wednesday: "It was a weird deal."
We know most of the details of the abduction (the baby is back safe with its parents), but we may never know all the details of Tabata's marriage to Amalia Tabata Pereira, 43, also known by such aliases as Amalia Segui and Amalia Maldonado, among others. While police say that Jose Tabata was not involved in the kidnapping in any way, he apparently was less than truthful with the Pirates regarding his wife. In the team's media guide, she is identified as Mayita Tabata.
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Ms. Pereira's relatives told Tampa-area news agencies that she is a mother of four who was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Chicago and moved to West Tampa about two decades ago. She spent two years and nine months in a Florida state prison stemming from a 1999 incident in which she was accused of stealing $20,000 from a Paycheck Advance where she worked in the Temple Terrace neighborhood north of Tampa, then staging a fire at the business to conceal the theft, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
She also, apparently, has a gambling habit; a fact that her attorney used to try and get her sentence reduced in the robbery case.
Tabata was 19 1/2 last year and playing for the Trenton Thunder, a Class A Yankees affiliate, when he married Pereira at a check-cashing and tax outlet called Amscot, the Times reported.
So, some sort of citizenship issue, I'm guessing. She's from Puerto Rico, and has been in the U.S. for several years. He's from Venezuela. More on this as things unravel.
Pirates: Police Say Tabata Not Linked To Abduction [Associated Press]
Police Trying To Decipher Curious Case Of Tabata's Wife [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Jose Tabata [Altoona Curve]
Woman Suspected in Plant City Baby Kidnapping Is A Felon [St. Petersburg Times]