Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jung-ho Kang has reportedly been arrested for fleeing the scene of a DUI accident in Korea, according to Yonhap News. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review has confirmed some of the details.
The 29-year-old Kang was allegedly involved in an alcohol-related accident in the early hours of the morning Friday in Korea. The accident reportedly took place at 2:48 a.m. in Seoul. Kang allegedly attempted to leave the scene, but was caught by police shortly afterward. His blood alcohol level was said to be .084 percent. The legal limit in South Korea is .05 percent. No one was injured in the incident.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly issued a statement saying the club is aware of the situation, and that the organization is “extremely disappointed” in Kang.
Coonelly was charged with a DUI in 2011.
This is not the first time Kang has been involved in a serious off-the-field situation. Kang was investigated by Chicago police after a woman accused him of sexual assault in July. Shortly after the story became public, the Pirates issued a statement saying they were aware of the investigation. Kang was not charged with a crime, and no follow ups have been made in the case.
Following Friday’s accident, Kang could lose his license in Korea. He may also be subject to other penalties.
Last season, Kang recovered from a knee injury to hit .255/.354/.513, with 21 home runs, for the Pirates over 370 plate appearances. Kang is signed through 2018, and has a $5.5 million option for 2019.
The last player to be subject to discipline from the league due to an alcohol-related incident was Texas Rangers reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress was charged with a DWI in August, and entered rehab shortly after the incident. He was not suspended by the league, and returned to the team in time to pitch in the playoffs.
Given the situation, Kang could face a suspension from the league once all the details are confirmed.
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