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Boston Police to Seek Charges Against 2 Yankees Over Scuffle

By Michael S. Rosenwald and Douglas Belkin

The Boston Globe -- Boston police are seeking misdemeanor assault and battery charges against two New York Yankees players for allegedly attacking a Red Sox grounds crew worker during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

Detectives will seek a complaint Tuesday morning in Roxbury District Court charging pitcher Jeff Nelson and outfielder Karim Garcia, who allegedly beat Paul Williams in the Yankees’ bullpen at Fenway Park, according to police spokeswoman Mariellen Burns.

The players will be summoned for a hearing next month, at which time a clerk magistrate will hear evidence and decide whether to issue charges.

Nelson and Garcia have the option of appearing at the hearing and presenting evidence to counter statements by Williams and police officers, two of whom said they witnessed the alleged attack on Oct. 11. Should the clerk issue charges, the players would be arraigned in Roxbury District Court, possibly that day.

Williams, a special education teacher in New Hampshire, could not be reached for comment. Garcia and Nelson, interviewed in the visitors’ clubhouse in Miami where the Yankees are playing the Florida Marlins in the World Series, said they were unaware of the development in the case.

“I’m answering no questions about that,” Nelson said.

Garcia said, “I’ve heard nothing from Boston. I’m letting my lawyers handle that.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he hoped the criminal proceedings would not affect his team, which is tied 1-1 with the Marlins in the World Series. “I would think most of these guys had to deal with a lot of issues off the field, family issues and so forth, and I suspect this would be no different,” he said.

David Procopio, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney’s office, which has been working with police about the case, said detectives “took a lot of time to do this, and rightly so. They wanted to speak with everyone who had knowledge of the case.”

Procopio said the misdemeanor charges were sought because they were what the police thought they could “take into court and meet their burden of proof.”

Police can arrest someone on the spot if they witness an action, Procopio said, but it’s common “in a case where you have many witnesses to get different accounts of what happened and to put those accounts before a court.”

The fact that the alleged attackers play for the New York Yankees had no bearing on the investigation, Procopio said.

“We would be pursuing the same course of action were the principals affiliated with the Texas Rangers, the Minnesota Twins, or the Toledo Mudhens,” said Procopio.