FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Newly acquired Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman will not face charges of domestic violence in Florida, according to multiple reports.
Broward Assistant State Attorney Stefanie Newman wrote in a close-out memo Wednesday that conflicting accounts and insufficient evidence made a conviction unlikely. Davie police had previously closed the Oct. 30 matter for similar reasons.
According to a police report, Chapman’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Cristina Barnea, told police he pushed and choked her.
“He was hitting me in front of everyone, and he’s going crazy,” Barnea, told 911, according to the memo. “There’s a lot of people here. I’m hiding in the bushes, the house next door.”
Chapman said there was an argument, but he said he was pushed down by Barnea’s brother. Chapman said he eventually got a handgun and fired eight shots into a wall and window while locked in his garage.
Prosecutors said if Chapman did fire his gun, he did not violate any Florida laws because he did it on private property and no one was injured by the shots, TMZ reported.
Chapman, 27, was not arrested because police reportedly determined there were inconsistencies in accounts about what had happened and they did not see any marks around Barnea’s neck.
Last week, Barnea told prosecutors she didn’t recall saying Chapman had hit her, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reported.
According to the memo, the argument began after Barnea found a text from another woman on Chapman’s cellphone. Barnea and Chapman have a child together and are engaged, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Chapman did tell police he injured his hand when he punched a car window after the argument, the memo said, according to TMZ.
While the four-time All-Star appears to be in the clear with the law, he still faces a possible suspension under Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy.
The Yankees acquired Chapman on Dec. 28 from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor league right-handers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis and infielders Eric Jagielo and Tony Renda.
The hard-throwing Chapman became available after the Reds’ deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers fell through when the accusations came to light.
On Wednesday, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner defended Chapman.
“In this country, when allegations are brought against a person, that person is completely innocent until proven otherwise, not the other way around,” Steinbrenner said at baseball’s owners meetings in Coral Gables, Florida.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has already named Chapman the team’s closer. Led by Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, New York’s bullpen has a chance to be baseball’s best in 2016.
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