Jeurys Familia’s wife has reportedly asked the prosecutor in the simple assault case to drop the charge against the Mets closer after an alleged domestic violence incident last month.
The prosecutor told Newsday that Bianca Rivas, the alleged victim in the incident, said she was not concerned for her safety and did not want to pursue the charge. The prosecutor has until Dec. 15, Familia’s next scheduled court date, to decide whether to go ahead with the case.
Even if the charge is dropped, however, Familia could still face punishment under MLB’s joint domestic violence policy.
Familia was charged with simple assault after an Oct. 31 incident in Fort Lee, N.J. Police said the victim, whom sources said is Rivas, had scratches on her chest and a bruise on her cheek when they responded to 911 calls from Familia’s residence.
Audio recordings of those calls released earlier this week had Rivas describing Familia as “drunk” and “going crazy.”
At his hearing on Monday, Familia, 27, pleaded not guilty to the charge and an attorney representing Rivas asked that a protective restraining order be dropped. Rivas’ attorney told the court and reiterated to the newspaper that her client did not wish to pursue any charge against Familia.
Familia and Rivas left the court together after the hearing.
Mets closer Jeurys Familia during a court appearance.
(Norman Y. Lono/for New York Daily News)
It is not uncommon for alleged victims of domestic violence to be uncooperative with the prosecution and cases can move forward without their help.
Even if Familia does not face legal charges, he could still be looking at a suspension by MLB and there are several precedents for that. Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman was suspended 30 games at the beginning of the season, when he was a Yankee, for an incident in which he was neither arrested nor charged.
Even closer to home for the Mets and Familia is teammate Jose Reyes, who received a 52-game suspension at the beginning of the season. He was arrested and charged in a case involving his wife on Oct. 31, 2015. Prosecutors in Hawaii dropped the case against Reyes after his wife refused to cooperate with prosecutors.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said last week that MLB would let the legal process proceed in Familia’s case before it would begin looking into possible punishments. MLB will conduct its own investigation before Manfred issues his decision.
The Mets said they were “shocked” when they were informed of the charge against Familia and were awaiting word from authorities and MLB.
They have to wait for MLB to conclude its investigation before they will know if they will be without Familia for a significant amount of time. He was a huge part of their success the last two seasons. The righthander recorded a franchise-record 51 saves in 2016 and has 94 since taking over the role of closer.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News