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Visiting player hit wife, police charge

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Brett Myers and his wife were walking back from a bar late Thursday night to their Back Bay hotel when an argument broke out. Authorities and witnesses say Myers then assaulted his wife, leaving her sitting on the sidewalk with a swollen face, crying.

She told police her husband hit her in the face twice with his fist, according to the police report. Witnesses said he slapped her and then pulled her off the ground by her hair.

Myers, 25, and the Phillies were in Boston for a series with the Red Sox.

The player was arraigned yesterday in Boston Municipal Court on charges of assault and battery. He was released after pleading not guilty, according to David Procopio, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.

Kim Myers, 28, bailed her husband out by posting $200 shortly after the arrest.

Procopio said it is unclear whether Myers punched his wife or slapped her.

Myers declined to comment at Fenway Park yesterday, referring reporters to his lawyer. Two calls to his lawyer were not returned.

The team's general manager, Pat Gillick, said, ``Certainly the Phillies are here and are ready to support not only Brett and Kim, but any of our players."

Myers, who won 13 games for the Phillies last season, is considered one of the team's top starting pitchers . He will face Curt Schilling at Fenway Park today as planned, according to Larry Shenk, a Phillies spokesman.

Courtney Knight, 26, who witnessed the alleged attack at 900 Boylston St. with two friends, said in a telephone interview that Myers seemed ``really angry."

``He was dragging her by the hair and slapping her across the face," Knight said. ``She was yelling, `I'm not going to let you do this to me anymore.' "

Knight said the 6-foot-4 -inch, 240-pound ballplayer dwarfed his wife, whom police report at 5 feet 4 inches and 120 pounds.

``She's a real small girl," Knight said. ``It was awful."

Knight said Myers was undeterred by the presence of her and her friends.

``He had her on the ground," Knight said. ``He was trying to get her to go, and she was resisting. She curled up and sat on the ground. He was pulling her, her shirt was up around her neck. . . . He could have cared less that we were there."

One of her friends, Sly Egidio, 30, of East Boston, said Myers appeared to pull his wife ``out of her shoes" before hitting her.

``I watched him just haul off and smack her in the face," Egidio said. ``She said: `I'm tired of this. I'm all done.' "

Egidio said Kim Myers was on the ground crying when her husband pulled her up by her hair.

``This was violent," Egidio said. ``This was wrong. Even if it was a Red Sox [player], I would have done something. And I love the Red Sox." Egidio works for Boston Baseball magazine, distributing it at Fenway.

The report said that officers responded to the 911 call at 12:26 a.m. and found Kim Myers crying and with a slight swelling on the left side of her face.

The police report said a woman accompanying the player and his wife told police they were fighting because he wanted to return to their hotel and she did not. She also told police she saw Myers pull his wife toward the hotel but did not see him strike her.

Shenk, the Phillies spokesman, declined to discuss how the team's management treats domestic violence.

``Out of respect for the privacy of both Kim and Brett Myers, the Phillies will not comment on this incident until the matter is resolved by the court," said a statement released by the team yesterday.

Mike Teevan, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, said the league has no policy requiring suspension of players charged or convicted in domestic violence cases.

``We're obviously very concerned about it," Teevan said. ``But it was an off-field incident and it's the player's private life. We're going to let the legal system run its course."

According to a Major League Baseball website, Myers married Kim Wickman in 2002 and they have a 3-year-old daughter.

Myers's next court date is Aug. 4, but the municipal court judge ruled that he does not have to attend the session.

Globe Correspondent Kelsie Smith contributed to this report. Suzanne Smalley can be reached at ssmalley@globe.com.

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