Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge sets bond for Rays' Matt Bush at more than $1 million

PUNTA GORDA — Saying Rays minor-league pitcher Matt Bush is a "danger to the community" and a "flight risk," Charlotte County circuit Judge Nicholas Thompson set Bush's bond at $1.015 million Saturday morning for the seven charges he faces for his involvement in a DUI hit-and-run accident.

Bush's arraignment is scheduled for May 21.

Bush's attorney, Russell Kirshy, said the Rays were making arrangements for a three-day hospital stay and subsequent stint in a Tampa Bay area rehab facility as an alternative for the 26-year-old, but that will have to wait as Bush remains in a Charlotte County jail.

"He understands that his career is potentially in jeopardy," Kirshy told the court. "And his life is potentially in jeopardy."

Bush, who has a history of alcohol problems, appeared on closed circuit TV from jail but didn't speak in the hearing. Kirshy argued for a much smaller bond, saying the San Diego native qualifies as "indigent," with a $78,000 minor-league salary and just $2,000 in the bank.

However, prosecutor Richard Simpson pointed out Bush's previous arrests, as well as the fact that the victim, 72-year-old Tony Tufano, is in the intensive care unit at a Fort Myers hospital with serious injuries as a result of the accident.

Bush was arrested Thursday night in North Port after fleeing the scene of an accident in which police say the Dodge SUV he was driving hit Tufano's motorcycle, with a rear tire running over Tufano's head. Bush, who was driving with a suspended license and had a blood alcohol percentage of .180, more than twice the level at which Florida considers a driver impaired, told police he didn't remember seeing — or hitting — a motorcycle.

"My heart goes out to (Tufano's family), I know that Mr. Bush's heart goes out to them," Kirshy said. "Anybody who knows Matt knows that he's one of the most sweetest, most soft-spoken people you'll ever meet, and that's exactly the way he was. He was very subdued, very worried, very introspective."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Judge sets bond for Rays' Matt Bush at more than $1 million 03/24/12 [Last modified: Saturday, March 24, 2012 9:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000


    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  2. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Blake Snell
  3. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big


    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  4. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump


    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.

  5. How Rays' Chris Archer is branching out on Twitter

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer (22) leans on the railing of the dugout during the All-Star game at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times