July 30, 2014

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No charges to be filed in Charboneau bar incident

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — No charges will be filed as a result of a Jan. 7 incident at a local bar in which ex-Cleveland Indian Joe Charboneau and a female companion were injured during a fight.

Charboneau

Charboneau

In a report released Tuesday, police said Charboneau, 55, was struck and injured by two men at Poor Richard’s Tavern after they witnessed him hitting a woman with whom he came into the bar.

The woman, identified by police as Denise Papes, later told police he accidentally hit her. The ex-slugger wound up receiving seven staples in his head for an injury, police said.

Charboneau was hit in the ribs by a man who “shoulder-checked” him, police said, and then punched in the head by that man’s 22-year-old son after both saw the North Ridgeville resident strike the woman.

When police arrived at the bar after being called about 9:15 p.m. the night of Jan. 7, they found Charboneau sitting in a car “covered from head to toe in blood,” according to the police report.

When asked by police what had happened, Charboneau told them he didn’t know. In a written statement to police signed by the former ballplayer, Charboneau said he couldn’t recall “what happened prior to the altercation or after.”

He also wrote that he didn’t remember striking his companion or anyone else.

Inside the bar — and again some days later — Papes told police she followed Charboneau and another woman into the women’s restroom of the bar after he had been flirting with the woman at the bar.

Once inside the bathroom, Papes argued with him before she pushed him, she told police.

The pair continued to argue at the bar, police said, where a man came from behind the bar and hit Charboneau in the head. When Charboneau stood to defend himself, he accidentally struck Papes, the report said. Papes declined to press charges, police said.

Both were taken to St. John West Shore Hospital in Westlake by the North Ridgeville Fire Department. Papes was treated and released. Charboneau later was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where he was treated and released for the head injury as well as a jaw injury, bruised ribs, cuts to his nose and lip and a cheek injury.

Daniel Kelley, later identified as the man who struck Charboneau with his shoulder, was arrested and turned over to Oberlin police on outstanding warrants for charges of theft and operating a vehicle while intoxicated stemming from a 2007 incident.

A man tending bar at the Center Ridge Road tavern said last week that Charboneau had been a regular for some time and had never been involved in any trouble there prior to the Jan. 7 incident.

The American League Rookie of the Year in 1980, whose career was shortened by injuries, Charboneau heads the city’s Parks and Recreation Department baseball program.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.