Los Angeles, CA – Major League Baseball’s (MLB) announcement that Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Julio Urias was suspended for 20 games over a domestic violence incident came as a surprise because the city attorney had deferred prosecution.
Urias was arrested May 13 for misdemeanor domestic battery in an incident involving his girlfriend, according to the Orange County Register.
Los Angeles police responded to a call about a couple arguing in the parking lot of the Beverly Center at about 7:30 p.m. and ended up taking the ballplayer into custody, USA Today reported.
Witnesses told police that the pitcher had shoved the woman to the ground, but Urias' girlfriend insisted that nothing happened, KCBS reported.
The pitcher was given a seven-day administrative suspension by his team and missed five games.
The prosecutor decided to conditionally defer prosecution of Urias in early July, citing the fact that the defendant had no prior criminal record, the lack of physical injury to his alleged victim, and the fact that the woman involved did not indicate to police that she thought she was a victim in the altercation, the Orange County Register reported.
Urias, under the conditions of the agreement, agreed to stay out of trouble for a year and attend a 52-week domestic violence counseling program.
MLB’s announcement of the suspension came as a surprise because the team and player both thought the matter had been settled when the prosecutor declined to press charges, the Orange County Register reported.
Despite that, MLB said that Urias agreed not to challenge his suspension, ESPN reported.
“Since May, I have been fully cooperating with both law enforcement and MLB,” Urias said in a statement released by the MLB Players Association. “Although the authorities determined no charges of any kind were warranted, I accept full responsibility for what I believe was my inappropriate conduct during the incident. Even in this instance where there was no injury or history of violence, I understand and agree that Major League players should be held to a higher standard.”
He will get credit for the five games he missed during his May suspension immediately following the incident.
ESPN reported that Urias will have sat out his entire 20-game suspension and be eligible to return to the field on Sept. 2.
Urias has pitched in 27 games this season and has a 4-3 record and a 2.53 ERA.
He earned $565,000 this season and has pitched mostly out of the bullpen, ESPN reported.