A minor league baseball player from Indiana was charged Monday with third-degree assault in Ramsey County District Court after he allegedly punched a wedding guest inside a downtown St. Paul hotel where his team was staying.
Anthony Craig Cheky, 24, of Portage, Ind., was in town with his team, the Gary SouthShore RailCats, to play the St. Paul Saints at CHS Field in Lowertown.
According to the criminal complaint, St. Paul police responded to the InterContinental Hotel just before 2 a.m. Sunday on a report of an assault. When officers arrived, they met the 27-year-old victim who said he was attending a wedding at the hotel and a "man whom he did not know walked up and punched him in the face."
The victim said he then remembers "waking up on the floor with a very bloody nose and a painful headache."
A hotel employee told police she witnessed a man punch the victim "with a closed fist [at] close range, knocking the victim unconscious to the floor." The suspect struck the victim three more times before bystanders pulled him away, she told police.
A wedding guest also told police a similar story about someone not from the wedding party striking the victim several times.
Hotel surveillance footage shows Cheky approaching the victim and "striking him in the face without provocation," the complaint says.
"The man kneels on top of [the victim], who is lying unconscious, and punches him several more times in the head," according to the criminal complaint. He continues to kick and punch the victim several more times as he is being pulled away.
A security guard said the suspect was with the RailCats. Police spoke with the team manager, and several wedding guests identified the assailant as Cheky.
Cheky declined to make a statement to police. He had his first court hearing Monday and was released on bond. His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.
The victim was treated for his injuries at Regions Hospital.
The team released Cheky Monday, said General Manager Brian Lyter.
"Off the field is sometimes more important than on the field for us," Lyter said. "We don't have any tolerance for that kind of action. He is not going to wear the RailCats uniform any longer."