Report: MLB investigating alleged assault involving Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna
Major League Baseball is investigating Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna following his arrest on assault and battery charges on Saturday, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The investigation will determine whether the outfielder will receive a suspension. Ozuna has been on the injured list since Friday with two dislocated fingers on his left hand.
Ozuna, 30, was booked into the Fulton County Jail on two charges for battery-family violence and aggravated assault-strangulation.
Police said responding officers witness Ozuna attack his wife, Genesis Ozuna, at their Sandy Springs rental home.
Officers allegedly witnessed Ozuna strangling his wife over an argument about an alleged affair.
Sandy Springs police say they received a call around 12:26 p.m. on Saturday about an assault at a home located on Windsor Cove. Officers later arrived at the home and heard "screaming coming from inside," police say.
According to the Sandy Springs police report, "officers entered the residence through the front door and witnessed the suspect grabbing the victim by the neck and throwing her against a wall."
Investigators said Genesis Ozunahad bruises on her hands and forearms and red marks on her face, according to an arrest affidavit, but she was not taken to the hospital.
An arrest affidavit says Marcell Ozuna took Genesis Ozuna's cell phones without her permission and refused to return the phones. Genesis Ozuna told police her husband threatened to kill her, according to the legal document. That's allegedly when Genesis Ozuna used Marcell Ozuna's cell phone to call 911.
The arrest affidavit says Genesis Ozuna chased her husband for phones outside before she went inside the house, locked the door and grabbed a knife. She told police she was afraid for he life because of Marcell Ozuna's aggressive behavior and previous physical abuse towards her. When Marcell Ozuna came bank inside through a garage door, she allegedly told him she would hurt him if he came closer, while holding the knife.
The arrest affidavit states Genesis Ozuna put the knife down and tried to grab the phones from her husband, who hit her with them on the back of the hand. Marcell Ozuna allegedly used his cast to push Genesis Ozuna's face back multiple times, according to the court document.
The affidavit states Marcell Ozuna pushed his wife on the ground and put his hands around her neck. Marcell Ozuna picked up his wife, the document says, and pushed her against a wall when police allegedly witnessed him strangle her.
The document said Marcell Ozuna admitted to strangling his wife once before police arrived and then the second time, which police witnessed.
Marcell Ozuna was released from Fulton County Jail on Monday on a $20,000 bond.
Two attorneys for the Atlanta Braves were at the courthouse for Marcell Ozuna's virtual bond hearing on Monday. There is no word yet from the team what the charges may mean for Ozuna's future with the organization. Atlanta signed Ozuna to a four-year, $65 million contract in February.
The Braves released a statement Saturday evening reading in part, "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."
Marcell Ozuna's attorney said more details will come out about the alleged domestic dispute with his wife, Genesis Ozuna. A Fulton County District Attorney Simone Hylton asked the judge for no bond because of the severity of the allegations. She said, according to the warrant, Marcell Ozuna allegedly threatened to kill his wife and did not stop strangling her until Sandy Springs police intervened.
Genesis Ozuna's attorney said she is in Miami-Dade County and did not have fear of bodily harm or death. Marcell Ozuna cannot have contact with Genesis Ozuna and must reach out to their children through a third party.
In the shortened 2020 season, Marcell Ozuna's first as a member of the Atlanta Braves, the outfielder led the National League with 18 homers and finished sixth in NL MVP voting.
Marcell Ozuna is in his ninth major league season. He spent his first five with Miami, where he was an All-Star in 2016 and 2017, before playing two years for the St. Louis Cardinals.
According to TMZ Sports, Genesis Ozuna was arrested on May 29, 2020, for allegedly throwing an object at him in Miami, Florida.
Major League Baseball's handling of domestic violence has been scrutinized in years past with lengths of suspensions varying. Former Houston Astros closer Roberto Osuna received a 75-game suspension in 2018 for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. In 2016, then-Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman received a 30-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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