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.

 

 

 

 


Representative Tom Graves Honors Fallen Georgia Hero On House Floor

Representative Tom Graves spoke on the House floor on Wednesday in honor of Navy Petty Officer Second Class Randall Smith, who was killed in the terrorist attack in Chattanooga on July 16.  A transcript of Rep. Graves’ remarks is below.  "Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, who was killed on July 16th during the terrorist ... (click for more)

Middle-Of-The-Night Fracas On South Dent Lands Drunken Couple In Jail

A Middle Valley man and the Benton, Tn., woman charged with trying to help him resist arrest now have something new in common: twin arrests, and upcoming court appearances.   The incident began around  3 a.m.  las Saturday, when a Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputy on patrol encountered a green Chevy truck stopped on the road in the 7300 block ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Palmer, You’re Toast

America is absolutely furious! By 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon there were 36,000 people who had petitioned the White House to extradite Walter Palmer, who is today the most despised man in all of North America. On the Yelp.com website, that promotes his dentistry business in Eden Prairie, Minn, over 6,000 had posted violent, vulgar and vicious notes and, for the record, 60 of them ... (click for more)

Robert Powderly Still Active After All Of These Years

It didn’t take long for Robert Powderly to get fully involved in the running boom back in the late 70s. Millions of Americans joined the parade back in those days where running was their main source of physical fitness and Powderly was a big part of it. Powderly is now 68 and retired from U.S. Pipe where he worked in the accounting department.   He’s also had a couple ... (click for more)

Owls, Eagles Look Back Differently At 2014 Showdown

For the first time since they played in the second round of the 2014 Class AAA state football playoffs, a few Ooltewah and Rhea County players were together Wednesday at the Region 4-5A media day at The Bridge in Ooltewah. The Owls and Eagles, obviously, have polar-opposite thoughts on last year’s second round game in Evensville on a brutally cold Friday night. That’s because ... (click for more)