Domestic assault charges against New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia, stemming from an incident that took place on October 31, were dropped on Thursday during his appearance in a Fort Lee, New Jersey court.
According to Jim Baumbach of Newsday, Familia’s wife Bianca Rivas asked prosecutor Arthur Balsamo to drop the charges in November, saying that she didn’t fear for her safety. Balsamo met with Rivas before the court appearance on Thursday to help him make a decision about whether or not to pursue the charges or to have them dropped.
“I just want to make sure nothing has happened in the intervening two months, and certainly since they’ve been back together again,” Balsamo said. “Just so I can see that everything is calm and peaceful. And then I’ll make a decision.”
This all stems from an incident that took place on October 31. A 911 call was placed by a woman in the early morning hours, in which she said that Familia was drunk and acting erratically. Though the name of the woman was redacted in police documents, Balsamo has identified her as Familia’s wife Bianca. When police arrived at the scene she had obvious injuries, including a bruise on her cheek and a scratch on her chest. Familia was arrested and charged.
It’s important to note that even though the charges against Familia have been dropped, he can still face punishment from Major League Baseball. Jose Reyes served a 51-game suspension after his domestic violence charges were dropped, and Aroldis Chapman served a 30-game suspension for an domestic assault incident in which he wasn’t arrested or charged. In these cases, what matters to the commissioner’s office (who makes the decisions on player suspensions when MLB’s domestic violence policy is violated) is that an incident happened at all. Domestic violence cases rarely go to trial, and the charges are dropped about half the time, usually due to the lack of a cooperating witness.
With the charges dropped, it’s up to commissioner Rob Manfred to decide if Familia will face any punishment for the incident.
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