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    Friday, September 30, 2022

    Braves OF Ozuna facing more legal woes following DUI arrest

    Atlanta's Marcell Ozuna reacts after striking out during the seventh inning of an Aug. 14 game against the Marlins in Miami. (Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo)

    Atlanta — Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was arrested early Friday morning and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

    Ozuna spoke to reporters for 18 seconds before the game against the Houston Astros. He made a statement but didn't take any questions.

    “I disappointed my team," he said. “I disappointed my family. I don't have anything to say more. It's a legal matter."

    It was the second arrest in as many years for Ozuna. He was arrested on May 29, 2021, on charges of aggravated assault by strangulation and battery after police officers said they witnessed him attacking his wife. Those charges were dropped after he completed a pretrial diversion program.

    Ozuna was arrested by a Norcross Police officer in metro Atlanta and booked into the Gwinnett County jail at about 4:30 a.m. Friday. He was charged with DUI and failure to maintain lane and was released on $1,830 bond.

    “The Atlanta Braves are aware of Marcell Ozuna’s arrest this morning and are still gathering all the facts pertaining to the incident,” the team said in a statement. “Our organization takes these matters very seriously and are obviously disappointed by the situation. As this is a legal matter, we will have no further comment until the process is complete.”

    Ozuna's was not in Friday's lineup — the fifth straight game he has missed due to poor performance on the field, manager Brian Snitker said.

    Snitker spoke to Ozuna earlier Friday but didn't elaborate on their conversation.

    “No, like I said, I think everything’s been said," Snitker said. “We’re disappointed that it happened, and we’ll just go on."

    Ozuna, 31, is in his third season in Atlanta and in the second year of a $65 million, four-year contract. He hit .338 and led the National League with 18 homers and 56 RBIs in 2020 but has dropped below .215 for two consecutive seasons.

    Ozuna is hitting .214 with 20 homers and 46 RBIs this season. This season's substandard production led to reduced playing time even before the arrest.

    Snitker didn’t know whether Ozuna will face a suspension.

    Following the 2021 arrest, Ozuna was placed on administrative leave during a MLB investigation and missed Atlanta’s World Series championship run. He was then suspended for 20 games under its domestic violence policy in November, allowing him to return for the start of this season.

    Ozuna apologized to his teammates and fans at spring training in March.

    “My fans, I’m going to give you the best and I’m going to be a better person, and I’m sorry,” Ozuna said at the start of spring training.

    Ozuna's pretrial diversion program, which led to the previous charges being dropped, included 3-6 months of supervision, a 24-week family violence intervention program, at least 200 hours of community service and an anger management course.

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