Orioles right-hander allegedly punched judge

Updated: January 5, 2005, 12:20 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ORANJESTAD, Aruba -- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson was released from jail Tuesday after being held for a week while police investigated allegations he punched a judge on a beach in Aruba.

Sidney Ponson
Ponson

Ponson appeared before a judge Tuesday and prosecutors said they would not oppose his release as he awaits trial, the daily La Prensa reported. The 28-year-old right-hander faces charges of public violence and simple aggression. Ponson must return to Aruba for a sentencing trial in March, according to a Baltimore Sun report that quotes Mary Ann Croes, spokeswoman for the public prosecutor's office.

Under Aruba law, a suspect can be detained for up to eight days without bail while police investigate a crime.

Ponson, who was born on the Dutch Caribbean island, allegedly punched a local judge on Dec. 25 at a beach in Boca Catalina after several people confronted Ponson, accusing him of harassing them with his personal watercraft and operating it recklessly, police said.

The judge was hospitalized with minor injuries, authorities said. Ponson fled the scene but police detained him later in the day, authorities said.

Ponson went 11-15 with a 5.30 ERA in 33 starts and 215 2/3 innings pitched last season. He has played with the Orioles except for a brief stint with the San Francisco Giants in 2003. He became a free agent after that season and signed a $22.5 million, three-year contract with Baltimore.

He has a 69-80 career record in seven seasons with a 4.67 ERA and 802 strikeouts in 210 games and 1,313 innings pitched.

In 1998, Ponson became the third Aruban to play in the major leagues. In 2003, he was decorated in his homeland as a knight in the Order of the Dutch Royal House.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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