Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was arrested Saturday and charged with felony assault after Sandy Springs Police officers say they saw him choke his wife and throw her against a wall.
At 12:26 p.m. Saturday, Sandy Springs police responded to a 911 call and entered Ozuna’s home after hearing screaming inside, according to a news release. Officers said as they arrived to the residence, they heard screaming and noticed the front door wide open.
“Due to the exigency of the known facts, Officers entered the residence through the front door and witnessed the suspect grabbing the victim by the neck and throwing her against a wall,” the news release reads. “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.”
Police charged the 30-year-old outfielder with aggravated assault by strangulation — a felony that carries a minimum of three years and maximum of 20 years in prison — and misdemeanor battery.
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 absent from the Braves’ lineup Saturday night as Atlanta lost to the New York Mets 13-2 in New York having already been placed on the IR list because of the two fingers he fractured during the game against the Red Sox earlier in the week.
The league is expected to open an investigation into Ozuna following his arrest, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. He could be subject to the league’s domestic-violence policy and faces a potential suspension.
ESPN reports that the details of the alleged assault put into question Ozuna’s future in baseball, with the league launching an investigation that could result in a significant suspension. Passan reports that the police’s reported witnessing of the incident could prompt the Braves to attempt to convert Ozuna’s four-year, $65 million contract to non-guaranteed.
The Braves said they 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.”