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Police: Belle monitored ex-girlfriend with GPS device

2/17/2006 - MLB

PHOENIX -- Albert Belle tracked his ex-girlfriend with a GPS device and repeatedly threatened her, according to a police probable cause statement filed in support of stalking charges.

The 39-year-old former baseball star was arrested in Scottsdale on Thursday and charged with stalking. He made an initial court appearance late Thursday, and a judge set bail at $108,000, ordered
him to be electronically monitored and to stay away from the
victim.

Reached by The Associated Press on Friday morning, Belle declined to comment on the case.

"You didn't write a story about my Hall of Fame induction,"
Belle said. "You guys never report the good stuff that I do."

Belle's next court appearance is set for Feb. 24.

Despite impressive statistics, Belle collected just 40 of the 390 votes needed to reach the Hall of Fame in voting by the
Baseball Writers' Association of America in January. His prickly
past was blamed by many for his low vote total.

The police probable cause statement said that Belle's former
girlfriend discovered a Global Positioning System tracking device
that had fallen off her car on Jan. 26. Believing that Belle was
responsible, she called police, who began an investigation.

The unidentified woman told investigators that for several
months Belle "had been showing up everywhere she went [the store,
on dates, the gym, etc.]," the probable cause document stated. The
woman asked Belle if he had placed the tracking device on her car,
and he initially denied it.

But on Feb. 3, he left her a message apologizing for "doing all
that tracking stuff," the statement said. A later recording had
Belle threatening the woman, telling her she needed to hire a
bodyguard for protection and that she "would never know what hit
her," the statement said.

The volatile Belle often ran into trouble on and off the field
during his playing days.

A five-time All-Star outfielder, Belle hit 381 career home runs in a 12-year career that began with the Cleveland Indians in 1989. He also played for the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore before retiring in 2000 after his second season with the Orioles.

He was fined in 1994 for using a corked bat and suspended after instigating a brawl by elbowing an opposing player. In 1991, he
threw a baseball into the chest of a fan taunting him. Years later,
he was fined $50,000 for berating a TV reporter and tossed a ball
at a photographer.

Belle, who has lived in Arizona for several years, was arrested
on a DUI charge in September 2002.