- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2002

BALTIMORE Baltimore Orioles pitcher Scott Erickson was arrested and charged with assaulting his live-in girlfriend yesterday following an early-morning argument at the right-hander's Inner Harbor apartment.
According to a police report, Erickson, 34, grabbed girlfriend Lisa Ortiz by the neck and threw her onto the floor of an elevator after she confronted him with allegations of cheating on her.
Erickson was arrested shortly after 3a.m., charged with second-degree assault and taken to the Central Booking and Intake Center. He was released later in the morning on his own recognizance and was in uniform at Camden Yards for last night's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
"Nothing happened," Erickson said before the game. "It was something that was blown out of proportion."
Police said Ortiz, 29, confronted Erickson upon returning home from work and demanded to know whether he was cheating on her. A "heated argument" broke out, and Ortiz began throwing items around the apartment and tearing down a rack of clothes.
Erickson yelled at Ortiz, told her to leave, then hoisted her by the waist and carried her out the front door, according to police. When Ortiz tried to get back in the apartment, police said Erickson "grabbed her around the neck and threw her to the floor." Dragging her by the hair, Erickson threw Ortiz into an elevator and sent it down to the lobby, police said.
Several minutes later, police said, she returned and began kicking on the front door until Erickson opened it. He would not let her back in, but when police arrived Erickson placed the phone call they found her curled up in a ball and crying in a corner behind the door.
Ortiz, 29, was not charged, though Erickson told police she bit him on his right arm, causing a bruise and swelling. His right foot was also bleeding.
Ortiz refused to fill out or sign a domestic violence supplement in reference to the assault, police said.
"This is a private matter between Scott and myself and unfortunately has escalated to the level of police involvement," Ortiz said during a telephone statement organized by the agency that represents Erickson. "I want to set the record straight that Scott has never been physically abusive toward me, and in no way do I feel threatened or felt fear from Scott."
A district court hearing was set for Sept.6.
"Everything will be dropped, there's no doubt in my mind," Erickson said. "There's no problems. There's nothing. It's just a bad break."
Erickson, who missed all of last season after undergoing ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow, came back to start on Opening Day for the Orioles this year. He has pitched well at times but has received little run support during a 13-start winless streak.
Erickson (4-9, 4.25 ERA) struggled through his worst outing in two months on Sunday, giving up five runs in five innings. By the time the clubhouse was opened to reporters following the Orioles' 8-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox, he had already left the ballpark.
Several Orioles players and coaches, including manager Mike Hargrove, live at the same HarborView apartment complex as Erickson. Hargrove yesterday voiced support for his veteran pitcher and said he remains on schedule for his next start, Saturday at Boston.
"The only thing I can go on is the fact that I know Scott Erickson," Hargrove said. "He's been a gentleman, he's been a good teammate and team member. Beyond that, I don't really have anything to say. I have no knowledge of any of the particulars."

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