Police deny MLB records in Jose Reyes arrest

Posted at 5:53 PM, May 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-02 20:49:55-04

More than a month after prosecutors dropped a domestic violence case against Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes, Major League Baseball has yet to announce whether or not the highly-paid star will be suspended.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said about a month ago he expected to make a decision under the league’s new domestic violence policy in days, not weeks. Denver7 Investigates obtained records that could help explain delays in the closely-watched case.

Reyes was arrested Oct. 31 after security at the Four Seasons Resort called 911 to report a possible domestic assault. The security guard told dispatchers the woman involved (Reyes’ wife Katherine) had a leg injury and scratches on her neck. Katherine reportedly told police her husband grabbed her neck and pushed her into the sliding glass door in their room.

On March 30, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charge of abuse of a family member, saying Katherine Reyes refused to cooperate with the investigation. The same day, an MLB investigator filed a public records request with Maui Police for the “police report and all related documents” related to Reyes’ arrest. Denver7 Investigates also filed the same kind of request, and Maui Police said they denied both.

Denver7 Investigates learned the records are being kept confidential right now because Reyes’ charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning the case could be retried in the future if, for example, additional evidence comes to light or the alleged victim cooperates.

Maui Police told Denver7 the law allows prosecutors to retry those charges up to two years after the arrest date. Until then, police said, “it is the policy of the Maui Police Department to withhold the release of criminal reports prior to a final adjudication status.”

Police also cited specific privacy laws prohibiting the public release of the records.

An MLB spokesperson would not comment about whether the records denial led to delays, citing the need for confidentiality in an ongoing case. Spokesman Mike Teevan told Denver7 the league is is being as thorough as possible with its investigation and will take as much time as it believes is necessary.

MLB’s domestic violence policy, announced last summer, allows the league to discipline and suspend players even if they are not convicted.

When Manfred spoke to reporters in the days following the dismissal, he said he felt “some pressure” with regard to the Reyes decision. His comments indicated he expected to be able to review details about the incident from police because the charges were dropped.

"The ability of law enforcement to provide us with information generally goes up and they have more flexibility to provide us with information once the legal process comes to an end one way or another," Manfred said at the time.

While the league would not comment to Denver7 about its investigative process, the records denial could mean MLB has had to go to additional steps to gather information about what happened in the Reyes’ hotel room that night.

That marks a distinction between Reyes’ case and that of New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman. The league suspended Chapman for 30 games after he was accused of choking his girlfriend in Florida. Chapman was never arrested, and when prosecutors announced they would not file charges against him, details in the police investigation became public.

"Much of the information regarding the incident has been made public through documents released by law enforcement," Manfred said when announcing Chapman’s suspension in March. 

It is worth noting the police records are not entirely confidential. Maui police told Denver7 Investigates Jose and Katherine Reyes can request access to the department's records as "parties to the case" and such requests are generally granted. The department said privacy laws restrict them from disclosing whether either person has requested the records.

Reyes has been on paid leave awaiting the commissioner’s decision. He is the highest-paid player on the Rockies’ roster, and a running salary calculator compiled by the Denver Post shows Reyes has been paid more than $3.4 million so far this season by the team without ever taking the field.

Teevan would not comment on when MLB may reach its decision, but the Denver Post reported a punishment is likely to be leveled this week.  

A Rockies spokesperson declined to comment on the delays, deferring to MLB. The agent and the criminal attorney for Jose Reyes did not return calls to Denver7 asking for comment.