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Offerman AWOL as trial awaits

The SportsXchange

Former major-league All-Star shortstop Jose Offerman, who is being sued stemming from a 2007 incident in which he attacked two players with a bat during a minor-league game, has been a no-show in court.

The incident, which occurred in Bridgeport, Conn., is at the center of a federal lawsuit headed to trial. However, no one knows Offerman's whereabouts.

J. Craig Smith, the attorney for former Bridgeport Bluefins catcher John Nathans, has made unsuccessful attempts to serve Offerman discovery documents in the past few months.

Offerman, 45, was an All-Star with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 and the Boston Red Sox in 1999. He was playing for the minor league Long Island Ducks in August 2007 when he was hit by a pitch and charged the pitcher's mound during a game against the Bluefish.

He hit two Bluefish players, Nathans and pitcher Matt Beech, with the bat. Nathans sustained a career-ending head injury and Beech broke the middle finger on his non-throwing hand.

Nathans filed a $4.8 million lawsuit in 2009 against Offerman and the Ducks. The case is pending in federal court in Bridgeport.

Offerman's attorney, Frank Riccio, died in March. He withdrew from the case in 2010, claiming that Offerman refused to discuss the case with him and would not pay him.

Riccio's son, Bridgeport lawyer Frank Riccio II, said Offerman has been out of the country and he has not spoken to him recently. Offerman is a citizen of the Dominican Republic who has lived in New York.

Offerman was charged with felony assault, but was given probation that resulted in the charges being dropped. He was also ordered to attend an anger management program.

The Long Island Ducks deny responsibility for Offerman's attack on Nathans and Beech.
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