- Associated Press - Thursday, August 12, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Suspended Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has been released without bail and told to stay away from his father-in-law while facing charges he assaulted the man.

Rodriguez appeared at a Queens courthouse on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, he was suspended by the team for two days.

Rodriguez was charged with third-degree assault after a scuffle at Citi Field following Wednesday night’s game.

The star pitcher did not enter a plea.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) _ Francisco Rodriguez was suspended for two days by the Mets on Thursday, a day after police said the star pitcher grabbed his father-in-law from a Citi Field family lounge, struck him in the face and banged his head against the wall.

Rodriguez was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after Wednesday night’s game. The team put him on the restricted list and removed him from the active roster.

The Mets said he will not be with the team during that time. If the ban is not reversed, Rodriguez would lose $125,683 of his $11.5 million salary.

“Ownership and the organization are very disappointed in Francisco’s inappropriate behavior and we take this matter very seriously,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said.

The 28-year-old closer went into the family lounge, hauled his father-in-law into an adjoining tunnel and “repeatedly hit him in the face and hit his head against a wall” before taking off, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

A Mets official called police while a clubhouse employee was instructed to call Rodriguez on his cell phone. Rodriguez came back about 15 minutes later and was taken into custody. Browne described Rodriguez as cooperative with officers when he returned.

Rodriguez was arrested and held at the ballpark after the 6-2 loss to Colorado.

His father-in-law _ identified by authorities as 53-year-old Carlos Pena _ was in a hospital with a scraped face and bump on his head. Pena had swelling above his right eyebrow.

An hour prior to Thursday’s 4-0 win over Colorado, no court action had been taken. Before the suspension was announced, Rodriguez’s lawyer, Jay Reisinger, declined comment in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel, speaking before the suspension, had said he wouldn’t hesitate to use Rodriguez during Thursday’s game if the pitcher was available. Mets starter Johan Santana pitched a complete game to beat the Rockies.

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