Detroit Tiger Delmon Young in apparent altercation with Chicago tourists in New York

April 27, 2012 4:25:48 PM PDT
In this Intelligence Report: Four men from Chicago had front row seats to the latest scandal involving a pro athlete.

A suspected hate crime incident took place outside a New York City hotel early Friday morning, and one of the Chicagoans became a victim, according to police.

This one involves a pro baseball player. Outfielder Delmon Young of the Detroit Tigers is the subject of a hate crime investigation in New York City, where Detroit is playing the Yankees.

Very early Friday morning, the NYPD says, Young tangled with four men from Chicago who were apparently in New York City on business. The yet unexplained altercation landed Young out of the lineup and in the courtroom.

Young was handcuffed and led from a police precinct in Manhattan Friday. He is facing charges of aggravated harassment in which race or religion played a role, which is considered a misdemeanor hate crime.

Police say the American League outfielder was involved in a bizarre, alcohol-fueled incident at 2:30 Friday morning outside the team hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Investigators say Young was alone, outside the hotel as a panhandler wearing a yarmulke and a star of David necklace approached the four Chicago businessmen who were returning from a night out.

According to police, Young shouted religious slurs at the group and the clash escalated into fisticuffs, eventually moving into the hotel lobby.

The Detroit Tigers starting outfielder was arrested and taken to a hospital by police who said he was drunk.

New York's Anti-Defamation League issued this statement: "Bigoted words are unbecoming for any professional sports player, and anti-Semitism certainly has no place in the game... Major League Baseball players are role models for young people... We hope that Mr. Young will take the necessary steps to apologize and ensure that his alleged anti-Semitic words do not reverberate and do lasting harm."

Young is still in custody and not in Friday night's lineup for the game against the Yankees. His employer, the Detroit Tigers, released a statement noting that "this is an allegation and we need to allow the legal process to take its course. it Would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time. Per a provision in the Major League Baseball basic agreement, any allegation that involves alcohol is referred to MLB's Employee Assistance Program."

Late Friday afternoon, Delmon Young apologized to the Tigers and his fans. Young released a statement that he sincerely regrets what happened Thursday night. "I take this matter very seriously," he said, "and assure everyone that I will do everything I can to improve myself as a person and player."

Delmon Young full statement: "I sincerely regret what happened last night. I apologize to everyone I affected, the Ilitch family, the Detroit Tigers' organization, my teammates, my family, and the great Tigers' fans that have supported me since day one. I take this matter very seriously and assure everyone that I will do everything I can to improve myself as a person and player."

Statement from Young's attorney, Dan Ollen: "I represent Delmon Young with respect to the incident that occurred last night. With this matter now in the legal system, Delmon is unable to make any further statements or discuss this matter in further detail. All future press or investigative inquiries should be directed to me. Let me be clear, there are many false allegations regarding the actions of my client and I am confident that the legal process will separate fact from fiction and discredit these reports."