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Rays star Randy Arozarena arrested in Mexico following a family dispute

The rookie outfielder is being held after a confrontation with the mother of his young daughter.
Randy Arozarena was a breakout star for the Tampa Bay Rays in the postseason.
Randy Arozarena was a breakout star for the Tampa Bay Rays in the postseason. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Nov. 24, 2020
Updated Nov. 26, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG — Tampa Bay Rays postseason star Randy Arozarena has been arrested in Mexico after an apparent domestic dispute involving his young daughter, according to the player’s agent.

Arozarena is expected to be held in custody for 48 hours and was scheduled to meet with his attorney Tuesday evening. It is unclear what charges he might be facing.

“The only thing I know is he was hyper-sensitive about making sure that the child’s needs were being taken care of,” said his agent, Abel Guerra. “He was always sending money down there, and he was very involved in her life. I don’t want to speculate about (anything else).”

Guerra said he talked to family members who told him Arozarena had been arrested, and he advised them to hire an attorney, which they had already done.

The Rays released a statement about the situation Tuesday evening:

“We are aware of reports that Randy Arozarena was detained in Mexico. We are gathering more information on this situation, and we have no further comment at this time.”

Two Mexican newspapers reported Arozarena’s arrest — one suggested the charge involved the abduction of his daughter and the other said he was accused of violence against his ex-wife — but neither included attribution from law enforcement authorities.

Randy Arozarena is captured by Fox cameras during the World Series holding up a sign with the names of daughters Lia and Luna.
Randy Arozarena is captured by Fox cameras during the World Series holding up a sign with the names of daughters Lia and Luna. [ Fox Sports ]

According to the Yucatan Ahora, Arozarena tried to leave with his daughter after arriving at her home with gifts. The newspaper said he fought with his former father-in-law, although Guerra said Arozarena was never married to the mother of the child.

The newspaper reported that neighbors heard the commotion and later stopped Arozarena’s car from leaving the area until police arrived. A video on social media appears to show Arozarena talking to police and arguing with a woman at an intersection while holding a toddler in his arms.

The Diaro de Yucatan said Arozarena was arrested on a charge of violence against a woman.

ESPN has reported that the Yucatan state prosecutor’s office said Arozarena had been detained “for problems relating to his ex-partner” although charges had not yet been filed.

“When it comes to family issues there are always layers of complexity. Everything is perspective,” said Guerra, who had not spoken to Arozarena. “Hopefully everything clears itself up. It’s a horrible, unfortunate situation.

“I know he loves that little girl. He’s been a doting dad.”

Arozarena, 25, has one other child with a woman he married earlier this month in Mexico.

The rookie outfielder left Cuba on a small boat in 2015 and settled in Mexico before being signed to a $1.25 million deal by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Rays acquired him in a trade from St. Louis last year, and he was one of Tampa Bay’s top hitters in the spring before being quarantined with coronavirus later in the summer.

Arozarena had a hot September when he was finally activated by the Rays and then had a postseason for the ages. He hit .377 with 10 homers in 20 games, setting playoff records for most hits, total bases and home runs in a single postseason.

A movie studio announced earlier this month that it was planning a full-length biopic of Arozarena’s journey and life with filming scheduled to begin next year.

Times staff writer Kavitha Surana contributed to this report.

John Romano can be reached at jromano@tampabay.com. Follow @romano_tbtimes.