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Japan’s new home run king arrested in Florida for domestic violence
MIAMI — A former major league baseball player who broke Japan’s single-season home run record last year has been arrested in Florida on domestic violence charges, police said Monday.
Court records show Wladimir Balentien, 29, is facing a felony false imprisonment charge and a misdemeanor battery charge in a weekend confrontation at his wife’s Miami-area house. An attorney for Balentien’s wife, Karla, said Monday that the couple, married for about six years, is going through a divorce.
The Curacao-born Balentien is an outfielder with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows and hit 60 homers last year, breaking Sadaharu Oh’s longstanding record of 55. Balentien previously played in the U.S. for the Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners.
According to a police affidavit, Karla Balentien refused to answer the door or her phone when Wladimir Balentien arrived at the house Sunday. Wladimir Balentien then pulled out several window screens and climbed into the house through a dining room window.
Balentien grabbed his wife’s arm as she was running upstairs, police said, and then followed her into a bedroom and locked the door. The couple’s young daughter was also there.
A witness called police and Balentien was taken into custody, according to the affidavit.
Court records did not list an attorney Monday for Balentien, who was scheduled to have a bail hearing. A judge issued an order that Balentien stay away from his wife, but as of late afternoon, he was still in custody, according to jail records.
By Bob Dole
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