Red Sox prospect Jon Denney, a 19-year-old catcher, was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with driving with a suspended license.
A report issued by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said Denney was arrested at 4:06 a.m.
Denney was initially pulled over at 11:57 p.m. in the Fort Myers Beach area when his black Ford F-150 Raptor was observed accelerating quickly through a stop sign, causing the pickup truck to fishtail. Denney produced a passport and an Arkansas license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes because of a previous DUI arrest.
Denney told police he was “partying” and called a friend to drive him home. Two hours later, police saw Denney get back in his truck and drive out of a parking lot. He was stopped again and told police he was giving the woman with him a ride home.
According to the police report, Denney “became belligerent and started to cuss” at two officers. Denney then said he was a Red Sox player and made more money than the officers would ever see.
After being handcuffed, Denney allegedly said he would be freed quickly because he played for the Sox and made $3 million a year.
Police later determined Denney’s license was suspended and he was booked on a charge of knowingly driving while his license was revoked, a misdemeanor. He was released at 8:30 a.m. after posting a $500 bond.
Denney faces a March 31 trial date.
Denney was a third-round pick in the 2013 draft and signed for a $875,000 bonus out of Yukon (OK) High. He played in 26 games for the Rookie League Gulf Coast League Red Sox last season, hitting .203. His salary is approximately $1,000 a month during the season.
General manager Ben Cherington said via email that he was still gathering information on the situation and had no comment. The team issued a similar statement.
Red Sox officials are expected to make a determination of Denney’s status by the end of the weekend. Denney has been arrested several times and his character may have been a factor in the high school All-American falling into the third round of the draft, an issue that has followed him into the pro ball.
Denney deleted his Twitter account after his arrest. He could not be reached for comment.
A Red Sox player has been arrested in Fort Myers for at least three consecutive spring trainings.
Lefthander Drake Britton was arrested a year ago for DUI and reckless driving after leading police on a chase in a pickup truck.
In March of 2012, righthander Bobby Jenks was arrested after leaving a strip club on two counts of DUI along with property damage and leaving the scene of a crash.
News of Denney’s arrest was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.