Phils' Person Arrested After Fight

Monday, February 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Robert Person of the Philadelphia Phillies was hogtied by police, who said the enraged pitcher tried to kick out the windows of a police car after his arrest in city's nightclub district.

Person, who on Friday signed a contract for nearly $3 million, was arrested when he refused an order to walk away from a fight after brawling with a man, police said. He was released Monday after paying $1,000 bail.

The pitcher tried to get out of his handcuffs and knock out the windows of the cruiser when officers arrested him on misdemeanor charges early Sunday, police said.

He struggled so hard that for his own safety he was taken from the car and officers bound his hands and feet with nylon cord before putting him back in the cruiser for the trip to jail, according to police reports.

Person spent four hours in the Hillsborough County Jail. He faces misdemeanor charges of obstructing or opposing an officer without violence and giving a false name.

Person wasn't charged with a felony because no officers were hit during his struggle, police spokesman Joe Durkin said.

``The officer showed a tremendous amount of restraint in dealing with him,'' Durkin said.

Police said officers tried to break up a fight between two men in Ybor City. The brawling men were told to walk away from each other, but one refused.

Police didn't recognize Person and he refused to identify himself, Durkin said.

``I'm not going anywhere,'' police quoted the man, later identified as Person. ``I'm going wherever ... I want to go.''

Person tried to slide his cuffed hands from behind him to the front, police said. When police warned him not to do so, he began cursing and then started kicking at the car's windows, the report said.

Once at jail, Person struggled with deputies as they searched him. They located an identification card and that's the first Tampa officers knew Person's identity.

Person was 9-7 with a 3.63 ERA in 28 starts last season. The Phillies, who hold their spring training in nearby Clearwater, declined comment.