Minor leaguer charged with punching guest at Minnesota hotel
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) A minor league baseball player from Indiana has been charged with assault for allegedly punching a wedding guest in the face at a hotel where his team was staying for a series against the St. Paul Saints.
Anthony Craig Cheky, 24, of Portage, Indiana, was charged Monday with third-degree felony assault, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Tuesday. He was an outfielder with the Gary SouthShore RailCats, who were in St. Paul for a three-game weekend series.
The complaint says the victim was at a wedding reception at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown St. Paul early Sunday when a man he didn't know walked up and punched him in the face. He suffered a broken nose. He told police his ''next memory was of waking up on the floor with a very bloody nose and painful headache,'' the complaint says.
Surveillance video shows a man identified as Cheky approach the victim and punch him in the face ''without provocation,'' the complaint says. It says Cheky is then shown kneeling over the victim, who appears to be unconscious, and punching him several more times in the head before walking off with a group of his teammates.
The RailCats released Cheky after benching him for Sunday's game between the two American Association teams, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported. RailCats manager Greg Tagert called Cheky ''the face of the franchise'' and the best player on the team.
''Tony put himself in a position where he gave the club no other choice,'' Tagert told the Times.'' He will no longer wear a RailCats uniform as long as I am here.''
Cheky made his initial court appearance Monday and was released on bond. His next hearing is Aug. 16. Court records don't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.