Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sauerbeck arrested after fleeing cops, hiding in bushes

Indians pitcher Scott Sauerbeck apologized Tuesday to his family and teammates following his early-morning arrest, another distraction for a struggling Cleveland team.

Sauerbeck and a woman were taken into custody after fleeing the left-hander's vehicle and were found hiding behind bushes, police said.

"I want to apologize first and foremost to my family," Sauerbeck said before the Indians played the Chicago White Sox. "I'm sorry to my teammates, the organization and fans for causing any embarrassment."

Sauerbeck, who is married, was the passenger in his 1966 Lincoln Continental convertible, which a patrolman observed weaving at 3:45 a.m. The vehicle pulled into a driveway and the driver, Lily Miller, 28, and Sauerbeck got out, walked into the backyard and jumped a fence, according to a police report.

The owner of the house reported hearing voices outside and police found Sauerbeck and Miller hiding between the home and some bushes.

Sauerbeck was charged with obstructing official business and permitting someone intoxicated to drive his vehicle.

"In trying to do the right thing I made a terrible error in judgment, something I'm going to have to live with for the rest of my life," he said. "I'm a big boy and I'm going to have to handle it."

Sauerbeck refused to elaborate on the situation.

He met with Indians manager Eric Wedge and general manager Mark Shapiro, who are not planning any further discipline at this time.

"Anytime there is a distraction to what we're trying to do on the field, that's something that I'm disappointed in as the leader of the organization," Shapiro said. "Scott, Eric and myself have talked about it and he understands our disappointment. We've also listened to everything that he had to say, including the fact that he is apologetic for what happened and accepts responsibility."

Wedge said Sauerbeck was available to pitch in Tuesday's game.

"We're comfortable with his explanation," Wedge said, "and we'll let the legal proceedings play out."

Miller faces DUI and obstructing official business charges. Her blood-alcohol content was .253, more than three times the legal limit.

Sauerbeck and Miller were released on a bond of $120 each and will be arraigned on June 1 in Avon Lake Municipal Court.

If convicted, the maximum penalty for the misdemeanor offenses is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Sauerbeck, who resides in West Bradenton, Fla., in the offseason, is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in his second season in Cleveland.



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