Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna expresses disappointment after DUI arrest – The Atlanta Journal Constitution

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According to an incident report obtained by the AJC, Ozuna told the officer who pulled him over that he had drunk “three or four” beers earlier in the night. Ozuna submitted to a field sobriety test but was arrested when he refused a breath test, the report said.

Ozuna posted $1,830 bond and was released from jail Friday morning.

Ozuna was arrested by Norcross police early Friday morning and booked into the Gwinnett County Jail, a police spokesman confirmed.

Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office

Ozuna was arrested by Norcross police early Friday morning and booked into the Gwinnett County Jail, a police spokesman confirmed.

Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office

Ozuna was arrested by Norcross police early Friday morning and booked into the Gwinnett County Jail, a police spokesman confirmed.

Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office

Credit: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office

Asked if this incident could become a distraction for the Braves players, manager Brian Snitker said, “No. I think everything has been said. We’re disappointed it happened, but we’ll move on.”

When asked if Ozuna could face any discipline from the team, Snitker replied: “I can’t answer that. I’m the wrong guy to ask.”

Snitker was also asked if he thinks Ozuna still deserves a spot on a team.

“I don’t know that I have to answer that either,” Snitker said. β€œIt’s one of the things that I think as an organization and a team, we’re disappointed, and we’ll just go on from there. I won’t get into that.”

President of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos was not available for comment, but in a statement released by the Braves on Friday, the team said: “The Atlanta Braves are aware of the arrest of Marcell Ozuna this morning and are still gathering all the facts related to the incident. Our organization takes these matters very seriously and is obviously disappointed by the situation. As this is a legal matter, we will have no further comment until the process is complete.”

Ozuna has not played in a game since Sunday, missing all four games of the Braves’ critical home series against the New York Mets. The Braves open a three-game series Friday night at Truist Park against Houston. When asked if he would have put Ozuna in the lineup Friday without the morning incident, Snitker replied, “I don’t know. Probably not.”

Snitker was also asked if Ozuna, who is hitting .214 this season with 20 home runs, was out of the lineup for performance reasons.

“Just performance, yeah,” Snitker said. “Other guys are doing pretty well.”

Snitker said he found out about Ozuna’s incident around mid-morning and spoke with Ozuna afterward, but would not reveal what he said.

Ozuna was pulled over in his 2021 Mercedes-Benz SUV with Florida tags shortly after 3:30 a.m., the incident report said. A police officer on patrol was driving west on Beaver Ruin Road near Alston Trace when the Mercedes passed him going the other direction “at a high rate of speed,” the report said. The officer wrote that he also saw the Mercedes cross over the center line and into the eastbound lanes.

Although the speed limit on that section of road was 35 mph, the report said, the officer accelerated to nearly 90 mph to catch up to the Mercedes. Ozuna was not cited for speeding.

Braves’ Marcell Ozuna (right) looks on during the Atlanta Braves’ home game against the Houston Astros at Truist Park on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Braves' Marcell Ozuna (right) looks on during the Atlanta Braves' home game against the Houston Astros at Truist Park on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Braves’ Marcell Ozuna (right) looks on during the Atlanta Braves’ home game against the Houston Astros at Truist Park on Friday, August 19, 2022. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

The officer stopped the Mercedes, which had pulled into a strip mall at 2077 Beaver Ruin Road, the report said. The officer wrote that he asked Ozuna what he was doing in Norcross and the outfielder replied, “The party.” Ozuna later told the officer he had gone to an after-hours club nearby. Another man was in the passenger seat of Ozuna’s car, but he has not been identified.

The report said that when Ozuna got out of the car to talk to the officer, he said, “If I’m drunk, if I can’t drive, I like this.” Ozuna then pretended to hand over his car keys to the officer.

The officer ordered Ozuna to complete all three standard field sobriety tests and noted mixed results for the Braves player, the report said. When the officer asked Ozuna to submit to an alcohol-sensing breath test, Ozuna refused.

β€œI can’t do that. If you want to take me to jail, take me to jail because I can’t do that,” Ozuna told the officer, according to the report. At that point, the officer placed Ozuna under arrest.

The incident comes 15 months after Ozuna was arrested in connection with a domestic assault at his Sandy Springs home. He was accused of strangling his wife, Genesis, during an argument and throwing her against a wall before hitting her with the cast covering his broken fingers.

do some researchBraves’ Marcell Ozuna accused of choking, hitting wife

Ozuna was initially charged with felony aggravated assault, but the charges were later reduced to battery and simple assault with family violence enhancements. As a first offender, Ozuna agreed to enter the pretrial diversion program.

MLB placed Ozuna on administrative leave for the 2021 season while the league investigated. Ozuna was retroactively suspended for 20 games without pay.

Ozuna apologized to his teammates and fans at spring training in March.

“My fans, I’m going to give you the best,” Ozuna said, “and I’m going to be a better person, and I’m sorry.”

Staff writer Alexis Stevens contributed to this article.

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