PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - No charges will be filed against New York Mets outfielders Karim Garcia and Shane Spencer in their parking-lot dispute with a local pizza deliveryman, police said Wednesday.
“I’m just thankful that it’s all over,” Spencer said. “I’m not happy I was in that situation. It was embarrassing. I’m here to play baseball.”
Eric Vidal, 20, accused the players of roughing him up last week. He filed a police report, and nine people were interviewed in the investigation into Vidal’s allegation of misdemeanor simple battery.
In his statement, Garcia “said he was intoxicated and does not remember much,” detective Michael Beath noted. Spencer told police he saw Garcia “rolling on the ground in the bushes” with Vidal, helped his teammate get up, and that no punches were thrown.
The State Attorney’s office reviewed the facts and told the Port St. Lucie criminal investigation division there would be no charges. Beath wrote that Vidal became the “primary aggressor” in a mutual confrontation and that there were conflicting stories.
Garcia and Spencer both spoke to police Tuesday at the Mets’ spring-training complex.
“I’m just glad they got my side of this and they handled it,” Garcia said.
Garcia and Spencer both were fined $500 by the Mets after the dispute. General manager Jim Duquette apologized to a representative of the Big Apple Pizza restaurant chain.
“We’ve said all we’re going to say on this matter,” Duquette said in a statement.
Vidal could seek a civil action. The absence of charges would make it more difficult to win such a case.
“From what I hear, he wanted to do some civil thing. I don’t know how that works,” Spencer said.
A woman answering the phone at Vidal’s residence said he no longer lived there.
In his report, Vidal told two officers he wanted to pursue criminal charges against the two players because “that’s the only way they’ll be forced to pay” any medical bills he might incur.
Two officers took Vidal’s report, and said they did not observe any swelling or bruising. Sgt. Kevan Carmichael said he saw a small scratch on the ribcage, which Vidal said occurred when he fell into some shrubbery. Vidal did not let police take a photo of the scratch.
Vidal said the dispute began after he saw Garcia urinating — which Garcia’s wife, Terri, told police had occurred — outside the pizzeria. Vidal, hired earlier in the week, said he was later spit on by one of the players, and that a verbal confrontation broke out.
Vidal claimed he tripped over a curb, and accused Garcia and Spencer of “hitting and kicking him about his body and head.”
Beath’s report said Vidal’s original report made allegations that were “vague and somewhat improbable.”
Garcia and Spencer were both signed during the offseason. The former Yankees outfielders are now competing for playing time in right.
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