Mere hours after reports emerged of the Cincinnati Reds exchanging reliever Aroldis Chapman for two Los Angeles Dodgers, allegations hit that the bullet-throwing hurler had fired real bullets at his home after arguing with his girlfriend. The disturbing story killed the trade.
According to Yahoo Sports, Chapman, 27, who has fired pitches as fast as 105 mph, allegedly fired eight gunshots in his garage in Miami in October after he and his girlfriend, the mother of their infant child, argued. The girlfriend alleges she discovered something on Chapman’s cellphone that she didn’t like, prompting Chapman to seizes the phone. Moving to the movie theater inside his home, the girlfriend alleged Chapman “pushed her against the wall … ‘choked’ her by placing his hands around her neck, but did not prevent her from breathing at any time.” The police report stated that no “injuries or even redness anywhere on her neck or chest,” were observed.
Chapman’s girlfriend continued that her brother “came into the theater and separated them.” She then ran outside, she claimed, because she was frightened for herself and her daughter.
Chapman has admitted that he fathered the daughter, now six months old. He asserted that he “poked his girlfriend on the left shoulder and told her not to talk to him like that,” triggering her fall to the floor and start yelling, which caused her brother to enter the room and pushed Chapman down; Chapman said friends and family separated the two.
Chapman’s driver offered more information, saying that the couple argued after the cellphone was found, and that Chapman’s girlfriend “returned to the theater room, charging at Chapman and tackled him.”
Chapman said he got into his Land Rover, punched the window, took out his handgun from the glove compartment and locked himself in his garage. The police report stated, “He then shot several shots inside the garage and threw his pistol away inside the garage,” adding that Chapman’s driver moved the gun from the garage into a Cadillac Escalade.
Jay Reisinger, Chapman’s attorney, told Yahoo Sports, “I’ve reviewed the facts as portrayed. On behalf of Mr. Chapman, we vehemently deny the allegations as stated. Beyond that, we have no further comment at this time.”
On Nov. 3, Assistant State Attorney Marcie Zaccor said “due to conflicting stories, no cooperating witnesses, and no physical injuries, there is insufficient evidence to charge Mr. Chapman with simple battery.”
Walt Jocketty, the Reds’ president of baseball operations, stated, “MLB will take over responsibility, they’ll look into it and everything publicly will be handled through MLB.” He added that the domestic incident did not cause the holdup in the trade of Chapman, who is a free agent, stating, “That’s not what held up the trade, we were just unable to complete it … I think it’s still possible. We’ve talked to several clubs. I notified all of them tonight that we’d step back a couple of weeks or whatever it takes.”
MLB will investigate the incident; a league spokesman said: “We negotiated a domestic-violence policy and with information like this we would commence an investigation.”