Shortstop still faces misdemeanor charges

Updated: June 23, 2004, 10:17 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Maricopa County prosecutors will not pursue a felony charge against a San Diego Padres prospect arrested for allegedly biting a bouncer escorting him out of a tavern.


Bill FitzGerald, a spokesman for the County Attorney's Office, said Wednesday that the case was sent back to the city of Peoria, meaning no felony charges would be filed against Matt Bush but that the shortstop could face misdemeanor counts.

"There wasn't sufficient probable cause to show that a felony occurred," said Bush's attorney, Darrow Soll. "Matt looks forward to being a productive member of the Padres organization."

Bush, 18, the first player chosen in baseball's first-year draft on June 7, was suspended by the Padres after the incident became public. Team officials weren't immediately available for comment, but president Dick Freeman said Tuesday that further disciplinary action was being considered.

Bush, who received a $3.15 million signing bonus, was arrested Sunday at McDuffy's, a bar across the street from the Peoria Sports Complex where the Padres train and sponsor a rookie-level team, on suspicion of aggravated assault, trespass, disorderly conduct and underage drinking.

Employees at McDuffy's said they thought Bush and his 23-year-old brother, Jeremy, slipped into the bar through a rear entrance. After security officers tried to get them outside, Bush resisted and a fight began involving the brothers and at least two bouncers, Peoria police spokesman Jay Davies said.

He said one of the bouncers came out of the fracas with a bite mark on his left arm.

Jeremy Bush faces also charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press