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Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was arrested Saturday, accused of choking his wife and slamming her against a wall, according to reports.
His wife, Genesis Guzman, had visible injuries following the alleged incident but was not transported to a hospital, police told ESPN.
The 30-year-old Ozuna, a native of the Dominican Republic, was being held in the Fulton County jail in Georgia on charges of aggravated assault by strangulation and misdemeanor battery, ESPN reported. The more serious charge carries a penalty of three to 20 years in prison, the report said.
He was taken into custody by police in Sandy Springs, Georgia, FOX 5 of Atlanta reported.
Police said they received a call about 12:26 p.m. about a possible assault inside a home. Responding officers heard “screaming coming from inside” the home when they arrived, FOX 5 reported.
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Officers claimed they witnessed Ozuna assaulting his wife, according to the New York Post. The player, who was placed on the Braves’ injured list last week following a game injury, was seen with a cast on one of his arms, the report said.
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Ozuna, who led the National League in home runs with 18 during last year’s pandemic-shortened MLB season, signed a four-year, $65 million contract with the Braves in February, The Associated Press reported. He was missing from the Braves’ lineup Saturday night as Atlanta lost to the New York Mets 13-2 in New York.
Last week the nine-year MLB veteran had been placed on the Braves’ injured list with two broken fingers after suffering the injuries during a slide in a recent game.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said he learned about Ozuna’s arrest after the game, according to the AP.
Marcell Ozuna (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office/Associated Press)
“The Braves have made a statement. I stand by that and that’s all I know,” Snitker said.
The team said it learned of the arrest Saturday and immediately alerted the MLB 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,” the team said. “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.”
In addition to action taken by authorities in Georgia, MLB plans to conduct its own investigation – which could lead to a significant suspension for Ozuna, sources told ESPN. The allegation against the player could also affect the “guaranteed” status of his contract with the Braves, the report said.
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Other players found guilty of violating MLB’s policy on domestic abuse have faced suspensions of at least half a regular season, the Post reported. Yankees pitcher Domingo German was suspended for 81 games in 2019, while Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera sat out 85 games the same season, the outlet reported.
In 2020, Ozuna’s wife was arrested after allegedly throwing an object at her husband while the couple was in Miami, FOX 5 reported.
Details about when Ozuna would appear in court were unavailable.