Florida prosecutors have decided not to press criminal charges against New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman over allegations that he choked his girlfriend Cristina Barnea and fired eight gunshots in their home the night of Oct. 30, the Associated Press reports.
The memo outlines the “undisputed facts” of the incident, most of which are technical in nature. For instance, “A friend of the defendant’s was having a birthday party at the defendant’s house” on the night of the incident.
There are two “undisputed facts” listed that state an argument occurred between the couple. One pertained to Barnea grabbing Chapman’s cell phone and getting angry when she found a text message from another woman on it. The other stated that it was the dispute that caused Chapman to retrieve his firearm and discharge it “at least eight times.”
While Barnea initially described to police when they responded to her 911 call on Oct. 30 that she had been “choked” by Chapman, in two follow-up sworn testimonies, she denied Chapman did anything more than attempt to remove her from his personal space when she approached him about a message she saw from another woman on his cell phone.
As to how she ended up on the ground, she said she wasn’t pushed down but “lost her balance and fell.”
“She was not harmed and she does not want to prosecute,” the memo reads.
As for any possible gun charges, none of the witnesses, including Barnea, her brother and Chapman’s driver, said they personally saw Chapman firing the weapon. Chapman, who admitted to firing the weapon, was also cleared of any charges because he fired the gun at inanimate objects in his home and was not proven to be intoxicated at the time he fired the pistol.
“We are all pleased that the Davie Police Department and the Office of the State Attorney took the time to fully investigate the matter and have concluded that charges were not warranted,” Chapman’s lawyer Paul Molle told the Sun-Sentinel on Thursday.
The news that Chapman avoided charges will also likely be welcomed by the Yankees. In December, the team traded four minor league players, including pitchers Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis and infielders Eric Javielo and Tony Renda, to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Chapman.
On Wednesday, a day before the state decided not to pursue charges, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner defended the team’s acquisition, noting Chapman was “innocent until proven otherwise.”
MLB, meanwhile, is still looking into the matter that caused a stir last month when reports of the alleged incident first emerged.
The dispute was blamed for hampering a trade deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Reds, who some said knew of the incident but did not reveal it, a violation of MLB rules.
The Reds denied the claims, but the Dodgers ultimately passed on signing Chapman at the time.