Detroit Tigers outfielder was arraigned in a Manhattan courtroom last week after being accused of a hate crime for allegedly yelling anti-Semitic slurs at four men and tackling one of them, according to a report from USA Today.
The 26-year-old baseball player was reportedly heavily intoxicated when he had a confrontation with four men outside a New York hotel. The Tigers were in New York for a weekend series with the Yankees when the incident occurred.
Sources indicate that the criminal charges leveled against Young carry a maximum punishment one year in jail. Young was later released on a $5,000 bond, and sources say that Major League Baseball will allow the court system to investigate the matter before it issues any punishment.
In a statement released after the incident, Young apologized for his actions, saying that he “sincerely” regretted his actions. The statement, which was released by Young’s criminal defense attorney, also said that Young plans to “improve” himself “as a person and a player.
Young’s charge, aggravated harassment, carries a higher possible punishment because it was labeled a hate crime, due to Young’s statements that allegedly disparaged the religion of the people with whom he tussled.
Of course, in the American judicial system, defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and Young has yet to give his version of the story.
According to Young’s defense attorney, there are “many false allegations” in the case and he believes that “the legal process will separate fact from fiction and discredit these reports.”
The reports to which Young’s attorney refers claim that that confrontation between Young and the four men began at 2:30 a.m., after the men reportedly spoke outside the hotel with a panhandler who was wearing a yarmulke.
At one point, Young allegedly called the men a “bunch of (expletive) Jews” and tackled one of the men to the ground, reportedly causing minor injuries to the man’s elbow. After the altercation, Young followed the men into the hotel, where the hostilities eventually stopped.
In response to the allegations, the Detroit Tigers have remained silent, citing team policies that do not allow the franchise to comment on pending legal matters.
Sources say that neither the Tigers nor Major League Baseball are likely to issue punishments against Young until his case his processed through the legal system.
Of course, if Young is indeed convicted on the hate crime charge, the loss of playing time will be the least of his concerns.