Agent: Ponson assault charges to be dismissed
JUPITER, Fla. -- Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson has reached a settlement with the Aruban judge who accused the right-hander of hitting him in the face, Ponson's agent said Friday.
Ponson's agent, Barry Praver, said the proper documentation had been filed and that three assault charges stemming from a Christmas Day brawl in his homeland will be dismissed.
Ponson was detained for 11 days in an Aruban police station for allegedly punching a local judge during a Christmas Day fight on a beach.
Judge Bob Wit ruled that the charges would be dismissed once the two sides agreed to a settlement. Ponson must perform 80 hours of community service, make a charitable contribution and compensate the accusers.
The case delayed Ponson's spring training debut, as he was unable to get a U.S. work visa that would allow him to pitch in front of paying audiences. With the help of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, he got the visa Thursday in the Dominican Republic and is scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League appearance Saturday against Los Angeles.
Ponson was accused of hitting an Aruban judge in the face after several beachgoers told the pitcher that he was harassing people with his personal watercraft and operating it recklessly.
Wit postponed a ruling on the case, giving Ponson until May 10 to reach an out-of-court settlement. The judge said he considered the pitcher's career when postponing the case because Ponson's work visa could be taken away if he is convicted.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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