Michaels placed in program after assault arrest

Updated: December 15, 2005, 8:25 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies outfielder Jason Michaels was placed in a program for first-time offenders Thursday after his arrest last summer for assaulting a police officer outside a nightclub.

Jason Michaels

Michaels was placed in the district attorney's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for the July 3 arrest. If he complies with the terms of the program, to be set on Jan. 20, the charges can be dropped and the record expunged. In assault cases, such conditions may include anger management counseling or community service.

Defense attorney Barnaby C. Wittels said his client's case is what the program is meant to handle.

"There were no serious injuries, my client has no criminal record, and this was an incident that really was not as serious as it was made out to be," Wittels said. "Not every arrest deserves a prosecution."

Assistant District Attorney Beth Grossman said after Thursday's hearing that it isn't unusual to use the program for someone charged with felony assault of a police officer.

The 29-year-old Michaels was accused of punching Officer Timothy Taylor, wrestling him to the ground and ripping his shirt, requiring several officers to subdue him.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press