KELLER, Texas — Former Texas Rangers All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton has been charged with injury to a child, a third-degree felony, after his 14-year-old daughter told his ex-wife that he’d struck her.
Hamilton, 38, surrendered Wednesday to the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, and was released on $35,000 bond. If convicted, he could be sentenced to two to 10 years in prison.
According to an affidavit by a Keller Police Department detective, Hamilton’s daughter told police about an incident on Sept. 30. She said she made a comment to Hamilton that upset him, so he threw a full bottle overhand at her, hitting her in the chest, then began cursing and shouting at her. He pulled away the chair on which she rested her feet and threw it, breaking the chair. It didn’t hit her, but he then grabbed her by the shoulders and lifted her from the chair on which she sat. She fell to the floor, from which he lifted her, threw her over his shoulder and carried her to her bedroom.
The girl said at this point she was telling Hamilton, “I’m sorry.” Upon reaching her bedroom door, he tossed the teen onto her bed, pressed her face onto the mattress and began hitting her legs with an open hand and closed fist.
She said that after he finished striking her, he told her, “I hope you go in front of the f—ing judge and tell him what a terrible dad I am so I don’t have to see you anymore and you don’t have to come to my house again.”
As he left the room, he told her to gather her things for school. When she replied that she had already put them in the car, she said he responded, “Well, aren’t you just the perfect child.”
The Dallas Morning News reports that Hamilton’s ex-wife, Katie Hamilton, the child’s mother, had sought a protective order for the girl against Hamilton earlier this month.
Josh Hamilton couldn’t be reached for comment by The Associated Press. It was unclear if he has an attorney.
Hamilton spent nine seasons in the majors, six with the Rangers, and won the American League MVP award in 2010. From 2008 to 2012, he helped lead the Rangers to two World Series appearances. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame this year.
“The Texas Rangers take the issue of family violence very seriously. We are aware of the situation involving Josh Hamilton. Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we have no further comment,” the Rangers said in a statement.
Drug and alcohol addiction sidetracked Hamilton’s career. The No. 1 overall draft pick in 1999 by the Tampa Bay Rays, he went to rehab for the first time in 2001, and in 2002 the Rays sent him to the Betty Ford Clinic. Failed drug tests and suspensions continued. In 2004, he was suspended for the entire season.
Hamilton was out of baseball for three years but returned and made his major league debut in 2007 with the Cincinnati Reds before finding his greatest success with the Rangers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.