New York— In a clear sign of how complicated, legally and perhaps morally, an off-the-field incident had become, Tigers front-office chief Dave Dombrowski failed to address Friday the arrest of outfielder Delmon Young and the New York Police Department’s investigation into a possible hate-crime.

Young was charged with aggravated harassment Friday stemming from an early hours incidend during which Young allegedly yelled racial slurs at a Jewish man seeking panhandling money.

“He basically made some anti-Semitic remarks, there was a little bit of a scuffle between the victim and the suspect, and he was taken into custody and is being investigated by the hate-crimes task force,” said detective Joseph Cavitolo, the New York Police Department’s deputy commissioner for public information.

Young, 26, was in police custody Friday after first being taken to Roosevelt Hospital because of alleged intoxication.

According to the Associated Press, he posted a $5,000 bond at a brief hearing in Manhattan court Friday afternoon and was released less than an hour before the Tigers-Yankees game.

If convicted of the misdemeanor aggravated harassment charge of targeting someone of religious beliefs, he could face up to a year in jail.

Young was not in the lineup or with the Tigers for Friday’s series opener at Yankee Stadium, which the Tigers lost, 7-6, to the Yankees..

Dombrowski, the Tigers president and general manager, was at the stadium Friday and was scheduled to meet at an undetermined time with media to discuss Young’s status.

But he avoided questions before and after the game, eliminating any possibility anyone connected with the Tigers would comment on an issue known to be particularly sensitive to a club that isn’t sure where it can, or will, turn on a matter so delicate.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland would say nothing about Young, referring all questions to Dombrowski. Players also were silent.

Asked if they had anything they could say, Don Kelly, Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago shook their heads.

“We don’t know anything,” Santiago said.

Young apologizes

The ballclub released a statement Friday that read, in part:

“We are aware of the situation, however it is our club policy not to comment on pending legal matters. As we understand it, 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.”

Through his attorney, Daniel Ollen, Young issued a statement later Friday.

“I sincerely regret what happened last night,” he said. “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.”

Ollen, a prominent New York attorney who specializes in white-collar criminal defense, said Young will not be commenting further.

“With this matter now in the legal system, Delmon is unable to make any further statements or discuss this matter in further detail,” Ollen said in a statement. “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.”

Police said the incident occurred at 2:41 a.m., about five hours after the Tigers checked into the Hilton ahead of a three-game series that began Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

Police said a man wearing a yarmulke and seeking panhandling money approached a group of Chicago tourists outside the hotel. Young then began shouting epithets at the man, police said, which prompted a scuffle with the tourists, one of whom was a 32-year-old man who sustained scratches to his elbow but later refused medical attention.

Young was intoxicated, police said.

This isn’t the first time Young’s temper has been an issue. He made national news in April 2006, when he was playing for the Triple A Durham Bulls and was suspended 50 games for throwing a bat at an umpire during a called-strike dispute.

Player has helped Tigers

Young has been Leyland’s preferred choice in left since he was obtained last August in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. He was off to a slow start this season, batting .242 with one home run and five RBIs.

For his career, he has hit .287 with 72 homers and 413 RBIs in 747 games.

Young was a No. 1 overall choice by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2003 draft, but is now with his third team. He was traded by the Rays to the Twins in November 2007.

The Tigers acquired him last August after the Twins had placed him on waivers in an attempt to trade, following the July non-waiver deadline.

He hit a home run in his first Tigers at-bat, against former Twins teammate Francisco Liriano. Young had a blazing finish for the Tigers as they played into the American League Championship Series.

He rolled up 32 RBIs in 40 regular-season games, while batting .274 with eight home runs. He had five more home runs in Detroit’s two postseason series, including one in the Game 5 victory at Yankee Stadium that sealed the AL Division Series.

Contract status

Young, however, has never reached the everyday star status envisioned when he was coming out of Adolfo Camarillo (Calif.) High School.

The Tigers were deliberate last autumn in deciding Young’s future. He earned $5.37 million in 2011 and was arbitration-eligible, leading to speculation he might be allowed to sign elsewhere.

The Tigers and Young ultimately agreed to one-year deal for 2012 that pays him $6.75 million.

Young, whose older brother, Dmitri, played for the Tigers from 2002-06, is eligible for free-agency this autumn.

Because of strict language in the agreement between big league baseball and the Major League Players Association, it is difficult for a contract or compensation to be voided apart from rules governing substance abuse and suspensions.

News staff writer Tony Paul contributed

Source : Tigers’ Young lands in court, could face NYC hate-crime charge – The Detroit News