NOV. 2: Familia’s court date has been pushed back to Nov. 10, tweets Newsday’s Jim Baumbach.
NOV. 1, 9:42pm: Ken Davidoff and Kenneth Garger of the New York Post report that Familia’s wife, Bianca, is the previously unidentified victim, as her name was redacted from initial reports. Familia told Dominican reporter Hector Gomez: “Somebody is trying to damage my reputation with this info. I’m at peace with my family.” (Twitter link) However, The Post’s report cites the authorities and anonymous court officials in providing details of Familia’s arrest, including the fact that he was arraigned at the Fort Lee police station on Monday and released on $1,500 bail. Familia, according to Davidoff and Garger, is due back in court on Thursday.
2:11pm: Mets closer Jeurys Familia has been arrested and charged with simple assault in an alleged domestic violence incident, according to a report from Andrew Wyrich and Abbott Koloff of the Record.
Public judicial records suggest that the 27-year-old pitcher is alleged to have caused bodily injury to an unidentified person, with police officers stating in the filing that there was probable cause “to believe that domestic violence had occurred.” A “scratch to the chest and a bruise to the right cheek of the victim” are said to have been observed.
The incident in question occurred early Monday morning in Fort Lee, New Jersey, per the court documents. That is where Familia, 27, resides with his wife and young child, according to the report.
The Mets provided a statement to the Record on the subject, stating: “The matter was brought to our attention and we are monitoring the situation.” Major League Baseball says that it has opened an investigation into the matter, according to James Wagner of the New York Times (via Twitter).
It is certainly too soon to know where this matter may lead. Needless to say, the primary concern is with the victim and their loved ones.
Baseball (like other professional sports leagues) has struggled to deal with several high-profile domestic violence matters that have allegedly been perpetuated by its players. The league and player’s union agreed to a domestic violence protocol that vests significant power in the commissioner to assess and punish domestic violence offenders, whether or not they are arrested, charged, or convicted.
That policy was quickly put to the test by Jose Reyes, who was charged with assaulting his wife (though he never went to trial) and was ultimately suspended for 52 games. Aroldis Chapman also received a ban, in his case thirty games, though he was neither arrested nor charged in the incident in question. And Hector Olivera was punished with an 82-game suspension following an assault for which he was ultimately convicted.
Reyes later joined Familia with the Mets and is expected to stay with the team next year by operation of a club option. At the time, the organization suggested that Reyes “deserved a second chance,” in the words of GM Sandy Alderson. “I came away feeling that he had taken responsibility for this mistake on his part, that he was remorseful,” Alderson said of Reyes. “He obviously has paid a penalty for this, both financially and in terms of his career.”
As with Reyes, Familia’s situation has arisen in the offseason, meaning that the league will likely not need to utilize its powers to impose a paid administrative leave period pending investigation — at least initially. Reyes was later placed on administrative leave while the league awaited the results of the legal proceedings that had been initiated against him.
Looking ahead at hypothetical consequences, if Familia ultimately is suspended, he would not be entitled to his pay during the period of any ban. He is projected to earn $8.7MM in 2017, his second season of arbitration eligibility. It is not apparent whether Familia has gained U.S. citizenship, so it is also possible that any conviction could not only result in jail time but also carry consequences relating to his ability to continue working and residing in the United States.