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Charge against O's Erickson dropped

Posted: Monday August 26, 2002 4:26 PM
Updated: Monday August 26, 2002 6:51 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) -- A second-degree assault charge against Baltimore Orioles pitcher Scott Erickson was dropped after prosecutors interviewed the player's live-in girlfriend, prosecutors said.

Erickson was arrested July 22 after an argument with Lisa Ortiz that spilled out of their Inner Harbor condominium and into a hallway and elevator. He was scheduled to appear before a domestic violence judge Sept. 6, but court records show prosecutors decided earlier this month not to press the charges.

"The victim was interviewed by the prosecutor, and her testimony bordered on a recantation," state's attorney spokeswoman Marty Burns said. "With no other independent evidence, the case just could not proceed."

Scott Shellenberger, Erickson's attorney, said he was "extremely pleased," with the decision.

"After reviewing the facts, they determined that Mr. Erickson did not commit a crime, which is what Scott's position has always been," Shellenberger said.

Police said Erickson and Ortiz had a "heated argument" after she confronted him about whether he was cheating on her. Afterward, Erickson and Ortiz downplayed the scuffle, which left the right-handed pitcher with a bruised and swollen right arm.

Erickson said he was the one who called police to report the fight. He was released on his own recognizance hours after the arrest.

"Nothing happened. It was pretty much a situation where they had to do something and it just got blown out of proportion," Erickson said at the time.

Ortiz told reporters in a telephone news conference July 22 that Erickson had never physically abused her, and that she didn't feel threatened by him.

An officer said he found Ortiz curled up, crying, but with no visible injuries. Erickson told police the argument started when she began throwing items around their apartment.

He grabbed her hair and pulled her toward the elevator, but she tried again to enter the apartment, Erickson told police.

Erickson, the Oriole's opening day pitcher this year, has struggled this year and is 5-11 with a 5.32 ERA. He lasted only 1 2-3 innings Friday night, allowing six runs and six hits.


 
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