Aroldis Chapman, a closing pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds , was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute in October, according to a police report first published by Yahoo Sports on Monday.
Chapman, a 27-year-old native of Cuba, was reported to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
The MLB's annual Winter Meetings — a gathering of baseball executives from all 30 teams — are in session in Nashville this week. Many of baseball's biggest offseason trades and signings occur during these sessions, and Chapman's reported trade to the Dodgers after six years with the Reds was significant.
Yahoo Sports reported that MLB is "investigating" the October incident, and that the trade to the Dodgers is on hold in the meantime. During a press conference Tuesday, MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre told reporters the league learned of the October incident late Monday. Jon Heyman of CBS reported prior to the press conference that the Dodgers, MLB, and the Reds were "blindsided" yesterday when a police report detailing the incident surfaced.
MLB requests teams report player incidents to the league's department of investigations when they become known to the team, an MLB spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
The Boston Globe reported late Monday that the Red Sox had backed off a trade for Chapman in November upon learning about the Florida altercation.
Chapman, a closing pitcher who threw more pitches over 100 mph during the 2015 season than the rest of MLB combined, allegedly choked his girlfriend, with whom he has a child, before firing eight gunshots in the garage of his home on October 30, according to the police report.
The alleged incident took place at Chapman's home near Miami, when the pitcher's girlfriend became upset over something she saw on his cell phone, Yahoo reported.
Chapman's girlfriend — whose name is redacted in the police report — told police she started arguing with Chapman while in the bathroom of the home. He allegedly became violent after the two moved to the home theater, according to the report. There, she alleges in the report that Chapman choked her and pushed her against the wall.
"That is when her brother came in the theater and separated them," the police report states. "After they were separated, she ran outside because she was scared for her and her daughter. She ran to her neighbor's residence and hid outside in the bushes. While she was hiding, she heard one gun shot, but she does not know who it came from."
Chapman, in his statement to police, denied any choking or shoving but did acknowledge the gunshots. Chapman told police that after the fight over his cell phone began, he "poked his girlfriend on the left shoulder and told her not to talk to him like that. He said that she fell to the floor and started yelling" before her brother entered the room to separate them.
"Chapman said he got up and exited the residence. He wanted to drive away but friends would not let him. He got in the passenger seat of his car and his friend got in the driver's seat. He then punched the passenger side window with his left fist, creating a laceration to his left pinky knuckle. He then retrieved his pistol from the glove compartment, exited his vehicle and locked himself in the garage alone. He then shot several shots inside the garage and threw his pistol away inside the garage," the report said.
According to Chapman's statement to police, he fired his gun eight times in his garage.
Chapman was not arrested after the incident.
"Due to several inconsistencies in the victim's statements, as well as the statement from [redacted] changing several times during the investigation, this case will be forwarded to the State's Attorney's Office for review," the report said.
On November 3, Assistant State's Attorney Marcie Zaccor declined to prosecute "due to conflicting stories, lack of cooperation by the victim and witness, no physical injuries, and the fact that Mr. Chapman fired his gun in a closed garage with no one present, there is insufficient evidence to charge him with a crime."
In a statement to Yahoo Sports, Chapman's attorney Jay Reisinger said:
"I've reviewed the facts as portrayed. On behalf of Mr. Chapman, we vehemently deny the allegations as stated. Beyond that, we have no further comment at this time."
Last season, MLB implemented a new domestic violence policy that gives the Commissioner of Baseball power to determine punishment on a case-by-case basis, and without necessity of a legal determination.