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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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May 5, 2007 11:28 AM

Police seek Mateo in overnight assault

Posted by Geoff Baker

Mariners relief pitcher Julio Mateo was sought for questioning by police earlier today about a physical assault that took place at the team's Manhattan hotel. Details are very sketchy, but it appears that the assault victim was a woman. Mateo is married, but it is unclear whether his wife, Aurea, was with him on this trip or is the woman in question.

Sources said police responded to a call about a disturbance at the hotel around 4 a.m. Mateo was not at the scene when they arrived and the female victim was taken to the facial injuries branch of St. Vincent's Hospital. Among the injuries she suffered was a gash on the lip requiring stiches, which may have come from being bitten.

Mateo later contacted the police himself and was advised to come talk to them about what took place.

"Obviously, we consider this real serious,'' Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said before today's game against the New York Yankees, declining to go into any details of the incident in question. "Julio is working with the proper authorities in this right now. And besides to stress to you our understanding of just how serious this is, we just really can't comment beyond that.''

Mariners spokesman Tim Hevley told reporters the team has "encouraged him to work with the proper authorities, which is what he is doing at this time. While the situation is in the legal system, we won't be able to say much more.''

A source said police from the NYPD's Midtown North precinct want to question Mateo about the assault.

Mateo's agent, Martin Arburua, said this afternoon that his client was not presently with the police, though he was "anxious to co-operate''. Arburua added that he is aware of Mateo attempting to secure legal representation, but couldn't say more and did not know whether Mateo's wife was with him in New York.

"I'm trying to get all the details of what's going on,'' he said.

An NYPD spokesman said no arrest documentation had been issued for Mateo.

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