Driving Charge Against Dodger Star Yasiel Puig Dismissed Based On Community Service

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - by Hollie Webb

Reckless driving and speeding charges against L.A. Dodgers star and former Chattanooga Lookouts player Yasiel Puig were dropped Wednesday morning in Hamilton County General Sessions Court. He had to appear in court because of an incident back in April, when he was arrested after being pulled over at 1 a.m. on Amnicola Highway. Police say that he was driving 97 miles per hour in a 50-mile-per-hour zone. His hearing had been postponed several times because of his baseball schedule.

Judge David Bales presided over the case. After reading the charges, he read a letter written by the Dodgers' Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen on Puig's behalf. The letter detailed Puig's involvement in the Los Angeles community and called him “an asset.” Rosen said that Puig was active in several charity organizations that worked with underprivileged youth in the area. The letter also said that Puig had attended charity fundraisers for an orphanage in Zambia.

After reading the letter, Judge Bales addressed the courtroom and emphasized that Puig's case was not treated differently or specially in spite of Puig's fame and media presence. Judge Bales said “The state of Tennessee is the prosecuting entity, I have nothing to do with it...All cases are treated the same.”

Defense Attorney Mike Little pointed out to Judge Bales that prior to this event, his client had a clean record. And although Puig did not have insurance papers with him when he was pulled over, he did have insurance at the time and brought those records to court. Attorney Little recommended community service.

After taking everything into consideration, Judge Bales decided to dismiss the case against Puig. His reasons were Puig's lack of prior record, the fact that he currently lives out of state, and Puig's active participation in community service activities.

Prosecutor Neal Pinkston made the dismissal recommendation.

An interpreter was provided for Puig, who speaks little English.

Judge Bales took the cases in alphabetical order, coming to Puig near the end of the docket.

Puig left immediately after the hearing. This year, the Dodgers were the leader of the National League West but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Their overall record was 92-70.

 

 

 

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, SHERKINA DIANE  561 ARLINGTON AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 35 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CONTRABAND IN PENAL INSTITUTIONS POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE --- ALMOND, GUS BERNARD  812 WOODMORE LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37411  Age at Arrest: 51 years old ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Cocaine Dealer, Who Said He Did It To Support His 7 Kids, Given 10-Year Federal Sentence

A Chattanooga cocaine dealer, who said he did it to support his seven kids, was ordered Monday to serve 10 years in federal prison. Reginald Dewayne McKenzie, who is originally from Atlanta and whose family is there, appeared before Judge Sandy Mattice. His attorney, Anthony Martinez of the Federal Defender's Office, said McKenzie finished high school and some college. ... (click for more)

Six Commissioners Owe Us An Explanation - And Response (2)

Two-thirds of the Hamilton County Commission owe us an explanation as to why they feel it appropriate to take $900,000 of our money out of savings to spend on whatever suits their fancy, oversight be darned.  Those six commissioners are: Randy Fairbanks (D-1), Jim Fields (D-2), Warren Mackey (D-4), Sabrena Turner-Smedley (D-7), Tim Boyd (D-8), and Chester Bankston (D-9).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tonight, Take A Second

Peter Whibberley, known globally as “The Time Lord,” will freely tell anyone, “There are consequences of tinkering with time,” but tinker we must because the world – planet Earth -- is spinning slower. So tonight at 7:59:60 p.m. EDT, the Senior Research Scientist at Britain’s National Physical Laboratory will add an extra second to the hour – and our day -- before it becomes 8:00 ... (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Swimmers Get First Win Of Season

There are a lot of positive and upbeat coaches in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, but perhaps none any more than Fort Oglethorpe veteran Tony Womac. This guy is always happy, always smiling and always offering something positive to those around him. He may have been just a bit more of all the above on Monday night after his Marlins defeated the Cumberland Currents in a home ... (click for more)

John Shearer: A Look At The Origin Of The Lady Vols’ Name

On Wednesday, the University of Tennessee is scheduled to drop the Lady Vols nickname from all women’s sports teams except the basketball squad.   The change has been a source of much debate, particularly in Knoxville. As evidence, several people wanting to keep the Lady Vols name protested last Thursday along Joe Johnson Drive, near where the UT board of trustees was meeting ... (click for more)