Atlanta Braves star Marcell Ozuna was arrested and charged Saturday with aggravated assault by strangulation and battery/domestic violence, after police said they witnessed Ozuna grab his wife by the neck, throw her into a wall, and strike her with the cast on his hand. Ozuna was taken into custody by police at his home outside of Atlanta, where the 30-year-old outfielder is recovering from two broken fingers that put him on the injured list earlier this week.
According to a release from the Sandy Springs Police Department,
“[A]t 12:26 p.m., Sandy Springs Police officers received a 911 call requesting they respond to a residence on Windsor Cover regarding an assault in progress. As officers arrived to the home, they heard screaming coming from inside and noticed the front door wide open. Due to the exigency of the known facts, officers entered the residence through the open door and witnessed the suspect grabbing the victim by the neck and throwing her against a wall. Officers were able to immediately take the suspect into custody without further incident. In addition to the strangulation attempts, the suspect also struck the victim with his arm which has a cast from a previous injury.”Sandy Springs P.D.
The release stated that Ozuna’s wife had “visible injuries but was not transported to the hospital.” Ozuna was booked into the Fulton County Jail.
The arrest comes a year after Ozuna’s wife was arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery after allegedly hitting Ozuna with a soap dish. The couple has three children together.
The Braves, who re-signed Ozuna to a four-year contract this winter, issued a statement:
“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.”Atlanta Braves statement
Braves manager Brian Snitker, with his team in New York to play the Mets, said he learned of Ozuna’s arrest after the game, and declined to comment beyond directing reporters to the team’s statement.
It feels like a sure thing that MLB will place Ozuna on its restricted list, which would mean he wouldn’t receive his salary. (He’s currently on a four-year, $65 million deal.) Additionally, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Braves could seek to convert his contract to non-guaranteed, though the specific mechanism for that isn’t immediately obvious.