Just 15 months after an arrest for aggravated assault by strangulation and battery, Marcell Ozuna is back in cuffs. Norcross Police officers apprehended Ozuna after the Atlanta Braves’ outfielder was speeding and failed to maintain his lane. The arrest occurred early on Friday morning.
Ozuna’s domestic violence issues last May resulted in a lengthy stay on baseball’s administrative leave list while MLB completed an investigation. While the Braves won the World Series last season, Ozuna could not participate. And the result of the investigation yielded a 20-game suspension.
Last spring, Ozuna said, “My fans, I’m going to give you the best and I’m going to be a better person, and I’m sorry.” The 31-year-old entered a pretrial diversion program, dropping the charges of assault.
However, Ozuna’s promise to be a better person seems fraudulent after today’s news. The outfielder pulled his “I’m a professional athlete” card… literally. Video released after Ozuna posted bond showed him engaging with officers in a drunken state-of-mind.
FOX 5 Atlanta reporter Claire Simms obtained the footage, posting it online. Ozuna refuses to acknowledge his poor actions, later refusing a breathalyzer test.
The ballplayer introduced himself to officers, saying, “I’m Ozuna from the Braves.” Authorities did not seem too interested in his status. However, lacking the cognizance to pick up on the social cue, Ozuna still handed his MLB ID to the officer with his driver’s licence.
Marcell Ozuna Heading for Devastation if Behavioral Issues Continue
Ozuna spoke with Braves media before Friday’s game against the Houston Astros. But the statement was short. “I disappointed my team,” he said. “I disappointed my family, I don’t have anything to say more. It’s a legal matter.”
The 31-year-old’s past present a troubling history. And while Atlanta offered Ozuna a chance at character redemption in 2022, the situation is reaching a head.
The Braves released a statement after the news became public. However, it lacked direction and any sense of foreshadowing. The team said, “Our organization takes these matters very seriously and are obviously disappointed by the situation. As this is a legal matter, we will have no further comment until the process is complete.”
Already riding the pine, Ozuna’s presence in the dugout and clubhouse only creates distractions at this point. While it’s impossible to firmly say the Braves could look to cut him from the team, at some point, his .214 batting average is somewhat replaceable.