NEW YORK — Detroit Tigers left fielder Delmon Young was arrested Friday on a hate crime harassment charge after police said he got into a fight with a group of men and yelled anti-Semitic epithets.
Young was standing outside of the Hilton New York at about 1:30 a.m., where he was staying ahead of a series with the New York Yankees that starts Friday night. Nearby, a group of about four Chicago tourists staying at the hotel were approached by a panhandler wearing a yarmulke and a Star of David around his neck. After, as the group walked up to the hotel doors, Young started yelling anti-Semitic epithets, police said.
It was not clear whom Young was yelling at, but he got into a tussle with the Chicago group, and a 32-year-old man sustained scratches to his elbows, according to police.
Both Young and the group went inside the hotel, and at some point, police were called, and Young was arrested, police said. He was arrested on a charge of aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
Young was first taken to a hospital because he was believed to be intoxicated, police said. He was at a police precinct and may be facing arraignment later.
Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski had no comment. The team said in a statement that it was aware of the incident. Because of a provision in baseball’s labor contract, the team said any allegation involving alcohol is referred to baseball’s employee assistance program.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time,” the Tigers said.
An email sent to Young’s agent wasn’t immediately returned. His lawyer declined to comment.
It was not clear whether Young would play Friday at the 7:05 p.m. game. The Tigers were home Thursday afternoon, where Young went 0-for-3 with a walk in a 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Young is hitting .242 with one home run and five RBIs, is signed to a one-year contract for $6,725,000 and can become a free agent after the season.
In 2006, Young was suspended for 50 games without pay by the International League for throwing a bat that hit a replacement umpire in the chest. Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft, was ejected in the first inning after taking a called third strike. He lingered in the batter’s box, walked away and then threw his bat end over end at the umpire, hitting him in the chest.
Young has played for the Tigers since last season, spending two seasons before with the Minnesota Twins. He’s the younger brother of former outfielder and first baseman Dmitri Young.