Three minor league baseball players were arrested on Sunday after they apparently chose the wrong bar to patronize following a weekend game.
Pirates prospect Gift Ngoepe, 26, and Tigers prospect Warwick Saupold, 26, were charged with assault after a bizarre incident inside Toledo’s the Bronze Boar bar spilled out onto the street around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Toledo Blade. In addition, Ngoepe and his teammate Dovydas Neverauskas, 23, who play for the Pirates’ Class AAA Indianapolis affiliate, were slapped with resisting arrest charges.
According to MiLB.com, the incident ignited when a bartender at the Bronze Boar announced last call. Instead of letting Ngoepe finish the beverage he had just ordered and paid for, a worker at the bar apparently grabbed his drink and poured it out. (Deadspin, which scoured Yelp reviews of the Bronze Boar, reports this practice is not an uncommon occurrence at the Toledo establishment located across the street from where the Toledo Mud Hens play.)
Ngoepe, seeing his drink poured out for what appeared to be no good reason, reportedly grew irate and yelled at a female bartender, causing another patron unaffiliated with baseball to intervene. The pair reportedly got into a shoving match, before exiting the bar. That’s when things escalated.
The fight grew larger outside, with Saupold getting involved by allegedly punching the patron unaffiliated with baseball in the face. Toledo police officers, who had arrived on the scene, then arrested both men and charged them with assault, MiLB.com reports.
Neverauskas, meanwhile, refused to obey officers’ orders to step back from the fight.
Ngoepe then reportedly attempted to physically prevent a police officer from arresting Saupold. While that was happening, Neverauskas tried to physically prevent the officer trying to subdue Ngoepe. Neverauskas, who reportedly retorted, “What are you going to do, shoot me?” while scuffling with the police, ended up suffering superficial facial injuries when he fell and hit a brick, according to MiLB.com, which cited a police report.
The Pirates organization suspended Ngoepe and Neverauskas for a week, which meant their seasons were over.
“We are extremely disappointed in the actions of Gift and Dovydas,” Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said via an email statement on Monday to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Saupold, meanwhile, appears to have escaped punishment from the Tigers organization. Dave Littlefield, the vice president of player development for the Tigers, indicated the organization would let the legal system do the work.
“We’re aware of the situation,” Littlefield told the Detroit Free Press this week. “It’s a private matter involving Warwick and we’ll let the legal system follow its course.”
Saupold, a right-handed pitcher from Australia, is a player who could be called up to the big leagues in September.