NEW YORK (Free Press) - Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young faces a hate crime-related charge in connection with a dispute outside a hotel along New York's 6th Avenue early Friday morning, a New York police spokesman told the Detroit Free Press.
"Basically, there was an incident at the hotel (and) some anti-Semitic remarks," said Detective Joseph Cavitolo.
It was unclear what triggered the incident at the Hilton New York at about 2:30 a.m., although it began with a group of four men and a panhandler wearing a yarmulke.
"They have a discussion and the panhandler leaves," Cavitolo said.
Words were then exchanged between Young and the men and a physical confrontation ensued, Cavitolo said. He declined to reveal what Young is accused of saying.
Young, 26, then followed one of the men into the hotel's lobby continuing the dispute, Cavitolo said.
Called to the scene, police interviewed the victim and Young was sent to the hospital. It was unclear whether the victim was Jewish, Cavitolo said.
The detective said police interviewed witnesses and Young was still "being processed" at mid-morning.
Young faces an "aggravated harassment hate crime" charge and will be processed through central booking later today, Cavitolo said.
The charge is a misdemeanor.
The victim, described as a 32-year-old male, was "knocked to the ground and an arrest" was made outside the Hilton New York. He suffered an elbow injury and refused medical attention, Cavitolo said.
Intoxicated at the time of his arrest, Young had been taken to a local hospital after the incident, Cavitolo said.
Tigers spokesman Rick Thompson had no comment this morning, only saying "we'll get back to you," when asked about Young's status.
The Tigers traveled to New York Thursday night after a 1-6 home stand. They open a three-day series Friday night against the Yankees at 7:05. It's unclear whether Young will be available.
The Tigers acquired Young, 26, from Minnesota last Aug. 15 in their push to win the American League Central. Young played left field for the Tigers, homered in his first at-bat and helped boost the offense down the stretch as the Tigers last season won their first division title since 1987.
In 40 games, he drove in 32 runs and hit eight home runs. In the playoffs, he added five more homers.
In the offseason, the Tigers signed Young to a one-year contract worth $6.75 million. He will be a free agent after this season.
So far this season, Young has batted fifth behind superstars Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Like most of his teammates, Young has struggled at the plate in recent weeks. He is hitting .242 with only one homer and five RBIs in 18 games. He went a combined 0-for-10 with two walks in his last three games, all losses to the Seattle Mariners.
Young, a right-handed hitter born in Montgomery, Ala., was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 draft, selected by Tampa Bay.
He received notoriety for an April 2006 incident in the minor leagues. After a called third strike, he whipped his bat and accidentally hit the umpire on the arm. He was suspended 50 games.
Young's older brother, Dmitri, played five seasons for the Tigers. The club let him go less than a month before it made the playoffs in 2006.
Robin Erb and Tammy Stables Battaglia, Detroit Free Press