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Prosecutor: K-Rod had previous incidents

FOX Sports Sean Gardiner, Mike Sielski and Chris Herring, NewsCore
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When Francisco Rodriguez was acquired by the Mets before the start of the 2009 season, there was no indication that "K-Rod," as the pitcher is known, had a history of any trouble.

At Thursday's arraignment on charges that he beat up his girlfriend's 53-year-old father, Carlos Pena, in the bowels of Citi Field the night before, a Queens prosecutor told the court that this was the third allegation of family violence against Rodriguez.

In state Supreme Court, prosecutor Kirsten Kane didn't elaborate other than to say one of the reputed incidents occurred in Venezuela and the other in Los Angeles.

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A law-enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation said Rodriguez's girlfriend, Daian Pena, told investigators Rodriguez beat her after an argument when they lived in California and he played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Pena, the mother of their twin one-year-old daughters, didn't report the incident, and the official didn't know when it allegedly took place.

Details about the alleged Venezuela incident remain a mystery. Rodriguez's attorney didn't immediately respond to a call seeking comment.

Citing a "history of violence" and saying that Pena and her father were "very fearful" of Rodriguez, Kane sought to have the athlete's bail set at $5,000, but Judge Mary O'Donoghue denied the request and released Rodriguez on his own recognizance. The judge issued an order of protection barring the pitcher from having contact with his girlfriend or her father.

According to a law-enforcement official with knowledge of the incident, the motive for the alleged attack was that Rodriguez believed that Carlos Pena had used disparaging language to describe Rodriguez's mother.

In court, Rodriguez spoke only to say that he understood the terms of the restraining order. He didn't enter a plea. After being released, he briskly left the courthouse and climbed into a black Lincoln Navigator as reporters chased after him.

He wasn't arraigned in time to make the team's noon-start game against the Colorado Rockies. The Mets won without their star relief pitcher, 4-0. It turned out it wouldn't have mattered because the Mets announced on Thursday that Rodriguez was suspended without pay for two games. Having signed a three-year, $37 million contract in 2008, that would mean he'd forfeit $141,975.

On Wednesday at about 10:20 p.m., after the Mets lost a game to the Rockies, Pena and her father were inside a room at Citi Field designated for family members. Rodriguez entered the room and asked Pena to bring her father into the hallway outside the room.

When her father entered the hallway, Rodriguez is alleged to have pinned him against a wall and punched him repeatedly in the face and chest with both hands, the prosecution said. The victim suffered injuries to his left eye, cheekbone and the back of his head. Kane said it required several security guards to pull the 6-foot, 195-pound 28-year-old off the man.

Mets officials called New York Police Department supervisors who were on hand working a security detail at the stadium, but by the time police responded a few minutes later Rodriguez had left the stadium, the law-enforcement official said.

A Mets official then called Rodriguez on his cellphone and the pitcher drove back to the stadium, where he was placed under arrest and held overnight in the NYPD's new holding-cell facility in the stadium. Afterward, Rodriguez's attorney, Christopher Booth, declined to discuss the specifics of what happened, asking people to respect his client's privacy.

Read more in The Wall Street Journal.

Tagged: Angels, Mets, Rays, Francisco Rodriguez, Francisco Rodriguez

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