By Hal McCoy
Dayton Daily News
CINCINNATI | After Ryan Freel was arrested and charged with driving under the influence on Opening Day night April 4 in Northern Kentucky, the Cincinnati Reds required him to seek Employee Assistance Program help.
There is more of that ahead for the popular 30-year-old Reds infielder/outfielder, according to general manager Dan O'Brien.
Freel was arrested and charged with disorderly intoxication early Sunday morning by Tampa police outside a bar.
"Ryan will be back in the Employee Assistance Program and it will be on an expanded process," said O'Brien. "We have all the facts as we know them and we will let the legal process run its course."
Freel is expected to have a court appearance late this week or early next week.
Freel was attending a bachelor party for a friend at The Rack, a bar in Tampa, when problems erupted. Tampa police were flagged down outside the establishment by the bar's security people.
Police said security said Freel was yelling obscenities outside the bar, causing patrons to leave. Authorities said Freel was concerned that one of his two companions might be arrested and was shouting obscenities and telling one companion to shut up.
Police asked Freel to explain what was happening and he said he didn't want his friend to go to jail. Police said an officer began questioning Freel's unidentified friend and Freel continued to scream, "Just shut ... up or you'll go to jail," over and over.
Tampa police said Freel's eyes were red and glassy and they smelled alcohol. Officer Adonis Morejon said he asked Freel where he was staying and was told it was none of the officer's business and, "Our conversation is done," according to the police report.
Morejon said Freel was intoxicated to the point he was causing a disturbance and a disruption of The Rack's business.
Freel was handcuffed and taken to jail and Tampa police said he continued to yell obscenities while in the cruiser. Police said he refused a Breathalyzer test and told them he was unemployed.
Freel, who signed a two-year $3 million deal last month with the Reds, was arrested shortly after 3:30 a.m. and released at 11:30 a.m.
"It's very unfortunate, to say the least," said O'Brien.
Freel did not return several phone calls to his Jacksonville, Fla. home.