O's Williams arrested in Fla.

DUI charge follows crash on Tampa highway

Baseball

November 18, 2005|By JEFF ZREBIEC | JEFF ZREBIEC,SUN REPORTER

Orioles relief pitcher Todd Williams was arrested early Wednesday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence after his vehicle hit two cars on a major highway in Tampa, Fla., according to police.

At approximately 12:35 a.m., Williams' 2003 Ford Escape struck the back of two vehicles stopped at a traffic light on Dale Mabry Highway, which is south of the pitcher's Land O' Lakes home.

Nobody was seriously injured, but when police responded to the accident and encountered Williams, they detected the "odor of alcohol, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes," according to Joe Durkin, a spokesman for the Tampa Police Department.

Williams, 34, failed a field sobriety test and was placed under arrest. He was later released from the Hillsborough County Jail on $500 bond. The player, who told police he had "two to three beers at a local pub and also was taking prescription medication," took a Breathalyzer test that reportedly revealed his blood alcohol content was zero percent.

He also took a urine test, and its results are expected within the next 10 days.

Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan said the club will monitor the situation.

"We're going to retain a lawyer in Tampa in the next day or so to handle the case," said Tom O'Connell, Williams' agent. "We just feel it's not going to be a DUI case when it all is said and done. He `blew' a .00.

"We're obviously still disappointed that he was arrested and charged with suspicion of DUI, but we feel he will be exonerated of these charges."

Williams, who is eligible for arbitration this offseason, was one of the Orioles' most reliable relievers in 2005, going 5-5 with a 3.30 ERA, recording one save in 76 1/3 innings. He is the third Orioles pitcher, along with Sidney Ponson and Eric DuBose, to be arrested on such charges this calendar year.

jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

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