Mateo turns himself in, faces charge of assault
Mariners relief pitcher Julio Mateo turned himself in to police Saturday and was charged with third-degree assault after his wife was treated...
Seattle Times staff reporter
NEW YORK -- Mariners relief pitcher Julio Mateo turned himself in to police Saturday and was charged with third-degree assault after his wife was treated in a hospital for facial injuries.
The assault allegedly took place some time around 2:30 a.m. Saturday at the team's hotel in midtown Manhattan. The reliever's wife, Aurea, was taken to the facial injuries unit at St. Vincent's hospital, where she was given five stitches for what police confirmed was a bite mark on her lip.
"He's down at central booking right now," said Sgt. Mike Wysokowski, a New York Police Department spokesman, Saturday night.
Earlier Saturday police said: "He turned himself in to us a short time ago," just after the Mariners concluded an 8-1 loss to the New York Yankees.
Mateo was not at Yankee Stadium for the game and was optioned to Class AAA Tacoma after its conclusion. The move enables the Mariners to call up another relief pitcher in Mateo's place while they wait for his legal troubles to play out.
It was unknown whether Mateo would spend time in jail Saturday night. He could be held pending an arraignment or issued a citation and told to appear in court at a future date. Mateo wasn't at the scene when police arrived at about 2:30 a.m. in response to a call about an assault at the hotel. The pitcher spent much of Saturday arranging legal representation after speaking to police by telephone and being urged by the team to turn himself in.
"He's anxious to cooperate in any way he can," said Mateo's agent, Martin Arburua, who declined further comment on the case.
Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly said club officials had "encouraged [Mateo] to work with the proper authorities, which he is doing at this time. While the situation is in the legal system, we won't be able to say much more."
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said before the game that "obviously, we consider this real serious. Julio is working with the proper authorities in this right now. And besides emphasizing to you our understanding of just how serious this is, we just really can't comment beyond that."
Hargrove insisted later that the optioning of Mateo to the minors was not a response to the allegations themselves.
"It has everything to do with us playing a man short today," Hargrove said. "We don't know anything about the situation as far as how long it's going to take."
The 6-foot, 222-pound Mateo, a native of the Dominican Republic, is 1-0 with a 3.75 earned-run average in nine relief outings this season. The 29-year-old won nine games as a reliever last season before breaking his hand in August when a steel weight from a barbell dropped on it while he was working out.
Mateo and his wife have an infant son, Julio Jr. It isn't known whether he was present at the time of the assault. The New York Times reported that an infant was in the room during the assault and that two other children, ages 7 and 11, were in an adjoining room.
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