Bush faces several charges following arrest

Updated: June 22, 2004, 9:47 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- Suspended top draft pick Matt Bush allegedly bit one of the bouncers who tried to escort the San Diego Padres' prospect out of a bar, police said Tuesday.


Following his arrest early Sunday in Peoria, Ariz., Bush was suspended indefinitely by the team. The Padres gave the 18-year-old shortstop a $3.15 million signing bonus after picking him No. 1 overall out of a San Diego high school on June 7.

Bush was arrested on suspicion of felony assault, and misdemeanor trespass and disorderly conduct. Bush was also cited for underage drinking, said Jay Davies, a spokesman for the Peoria Police Department.

Bush was arrested at about 12:30 a.m. and released later Sunday.

Employees at McDuffy's, which is across the street from the Peoria Sports Complex, where the Padres hold spring training, believe Bush and his 23-year-old brother, Jeremy, slipped into the bar through a rear entrance, Davies said Tuesday.

"Somebody found out he was under age and reported him, and that's when things turned sour for him," he said.

When security approached to lead them out, police said Bush resisted and the pair started a fight with at least two of the bouncers.

"It's alleged Matthew bit one of the security members on the left arm," Davies said.

When police arrived, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Bush struggled with one of the officers but eventually calmed down, Davies said. His brother tried to flee but McDuffy's security stopped him, Davies said.

Jeremy Bush was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and trespassing.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office will review the police report and decide what charges to file, a spokeswoman said. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 6.

Bush had been assigned to the Padres' rookie-level affiliate in Peoria. He won't be able to play during the suspension, and was told to come to San Diego on Tuesday for a physical and to meet with team officials.

General manager Kevin Towers, who on Monday night expressed his disappointment with the arrest, wasn't available for comment Tuesday.

Team president Dick Freeman said the Padres are looking into both the arrest and further into Bush's background. He said it was too early to say what further disciplinary action the team might take against Bush.

"Even without any further investigation, I know he was in a place he shouldn't have been," Freeman said. "We wanted to visit with him and get his side of the story, and see if there's anything we missed as far as his history when we did our scouting on him."

"We got input from a number of people before the draft, not only about his baseball ability but the type of kid he is. We want to go back and verify and make sure that information's correct, as well as we need to find out what his history is in some of these areas and make sure our original evaluation was proper, and hopefully this was an isolated incident. Under any circumstance, it's bad business."

Freeman called Bush's arrest "a huge disappointment."

"Certainly you don't like to have your first draft pick have an incident two to three weeks after you draft him. That's not a good situation. The reality is, no matter how hard you try to figure out people, and understand them, these things happen."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press