Lenny Randle, traded to the New York Mets earlier in the day by the Texas Rangers, surrendered to police in Tempe, Ariz., today on an Orange County, Fla., warrant charging him with aggravated battery in the March 28 slugging of Ranger manager Frank Lucchesi, authorities here said.
Randle was traded to the Mets for an undisclosed sum of money and a player to be named. The trade is effective Wednesday when Randle's 30-suspension from the Texas club expires.
The warrant on the felony charge was issued Monday. If convicted, Randle could face a maximum of 15 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.
Randle turned himself in to Tempe police and was arraigned before Justice of the Peace Lawrence Mulleneaux. Bond was set at $2,500.
Richard Neuheisel, Randle's attorney, said the player would be arraigned in Orlando in two or three weeks. Neuheisel said he would probably appear at the hearing for Randle.
The slugging incident preceded a spring-training game between the Rangers and the Minnesota Twins at Tinker Field in Orlando.
Lucchesi underwent surgery for a fractured cheekbone and was hospitalized for several days.
State attorney Robert Eagan of Orlando, whose office issued the warrant, said Randle could go to trail within 60 days. Eagan said he already had spoken with Neuheisel.
Eagan added that Lucchesi did not sign a complaint against Randle, saying such action was not necessary in Florida felony cases.
Eagan said one of his investigators questioned Lucchesi under oath while the manager was hospitalized. He also said there are at least six persons who witnessed the incident or had personal knowledge of it.
Lucchesi stated in a hospital news interview that Randle, apparently disgruntled at losing his second baseman's job to rookie Bump Wills, asked to talk to him before the Rangers-Twins game.
Lucchesi said he had his hands in his pockets when Randle hit him.
Randle had said earlier that Lucchesi called him a "punk." But Lucchesi denied it.
Randle also was fined $10,000 by the club. The financial penalty, including loss of income during the suspension, totaled $23,500.
"I first talked to the Rangers in February about Lenny Randle before the incident took place," Met general manager Joe McDonald said. "We are not condoning what he did and I am quite certain he would like to have it all behind him.
"It was wrong and the player acknowledged this by accepting the suspension and fine. Lenny isa versatile player who can play all three outfield positions and three infield positions other than first. His acquisition will give manager Joe Frazier more flexibility.