Why Yasiel Puig’s reckless driving case has been dismissed

Holly Webb of TheChattanoogan.com reports on the dismissal of reckless driving and speeding charges against Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig (link via Tony Jackson of Dodgerscribe).

… 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. …

  • btimmer

    Insert joke about cutoff men. Even though it wouldn’t really work.

  • NoahUCLA

    I wish the Judge or prosecutor said more about any lack of evidence/innocence rather than he is a nice person and we don’t want to bother with having a trial. Now it seems like the Judge doth protest too much when he says he’s being treated the same as everyone else.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Don’t know any more than you, but might be that such an offense usually gets a sentence of community work, which he is already doing, so saves time and money just to dismiss.

    • foul tip

      Unless there were a lot more serious circumstances like accident with injury, a TN first offender case like this would just be heard by a judge, not a jury.

      No, I’m not an attorney. Nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night. However, Holiday Inn did get its start in TN, so maybe that’s worth something…

  • TAFKA_Gagne55

    Which was more reckless- Puig’s driving or his baserunning?

    • foul tip

      Maybe he’ll be on the “Lookout” to do better at both (or at least not get caught).

  • 41

    It is actually a gutsy ruling by the judge. He will take some heat, and even more should Puig repeat his actions in any locale. I tip my hat to the judge. The world needs independent judges.

  • foul tip

    TN judges, like many, tend to be fairly lenient with youthful first offenders doing youthful things.

    Especially with mitigating circumstances and responsible people in the community putting in a good word for you.

    Not that I speak from personal experience, you understand…….

    • WBBsAs

      I’m ambivalent about this, and hope Puig appreciates that such behavior has consequences.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Jon, this piece you retweeted is great indeed. Everyone should read it. It’s heartening, if maybe not totally shocking, on how the Dodgers’ have been shifting philosophy about building their team (could think of worse models than the Cardinals):

    http://www.dailynews.com/sports/20131105/dodgers-signal-a-change-in-philosophy

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Yeah, it’s worth it’s own post – but I’ve already posted this week – can’t overdo it :)

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Oh, heck, NPUT.