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Cubs prospect indicted on assault counts in fan injury in Ohio

10/29/2008

DAYTON, Ohio -- A minor league pitcher accused of throwing a
ball that hit a fan in the forehead was indicted Wednesday on two
counts of felonious assault.

Julio Castillo, 21, who was pitching for the Peoria Chiefs of
the Midwest League, is accused of throwing into the stands during a
July 24 game at Dayton that featured a 10-minute, benches-clearing
brawl. The fan was treated for a concussion at a hospital and
released.

A Montgomery County grand jury indicted Castillo on one count of
felonious assault with a deadly weapon and one count of felonious
assault causing serious physical harm.

Castillo was attempting to hit a Dayton player in the dugout,
but instead struck the fan in the head, according to the Montgomery
County prosecutor's office.

Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. said Castillo threw the baseball to
purposely hurt someone, putting spectators that included children
in danger.

"There is no excuse for this type of behavior, whether it's in
a ball park or a back alley," Heck said. "Fans should not be
subjected to violence because a player is unable to control his
temper."

Defense attorney Dennis Lieberman said Castillo, who is from the
Dominican Republic, will plead not guilty. Lieberman said the
charges aren't justified by the circumstances and his client has a
good defense.

"In my research, I have found this to be an unprecedented
indictment in American baseball," Lieberman said. "These are very
serious charges that could destroy this kid's chance of ever
playing baseball in the United States again."

If convicted on both counts, Castillo could face up to 16 years
in prison. He is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 13.

The Chiefs are an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, and Castillo
remains in the Cubs' organization.