Ex-MLB pitcher whose career cratered after punching naked man on LSD gets $2.3 million

The Mercury News

Former MLB pitcher Greg Reynolds said his pitching hand was never the same after he punched a raving naked man on LSD who attacked him and tried to break into his Half Moon Bay home. The movement on the Stanford prospect’s heater that had flustered big-league hitters was gone.

On Monday evening, a San Mateo County jury awarded Reynolds and his wife some consolation: $2.3 million from the man he said he punched in self-defense and from the neighbor who had invited that man over for an acid party that turned into a bad trip.

“It was a tragic case where people’s selfish behavior cost Mr. Reynolds his dream,” said his lawyer, Niall McCarthy of the Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy firm in Burlingame.

Reynolds, now 32, attended Stanford University and was chosen by the Colorado Rockies as the second overall selection in the first round of the 2006 MLB Draft. He pitched his first Major League game May 11, 2008, a 6-1 road loss to the San Diego Padres. He later pitched for the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds, for whom he pitched against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on July 23, 2013.

On Jan. 16, 2016, Reynolds was living in a gated Half Moon Bay community called Ocean Colony and working his way back onto a Major League roster when he noticed a naked man cussing at bystanders and trying to knock over a mailbox.

According to reports cited by his lawyer, Reynolds approached the man, Dominic Pintarelli, to ask if he needed help, but Pintarelli attacked him, punching him several times. Reynolds retreated into his house and locked the door.

But Pintarelli followed and tried to force his way inside, throwing his body against the front door in an attempt to break it down. Reynolds stepped outside and punched Pintarelli, knocking him into some bushes, but the blow fractured his knuckles, his lawyer said.

“I only hit him one time, and it was bad enough to where I knew immediately it was broken,” Reynolds said in an interview. “It all happened so quickly, you don’t have time to think about it. We were definitely in fear for our lives.”

Pintarelli walked away from the home and later confronted deputy sheriffs a short distance away near the front gate for Ocean Colony, charging at them and punching one before they subdued him with a Taser stun gun, McCarthy said.

Pintarelli, 19 at the time, later was convicted on assault charges, McCarthy said. In the civil trial, Reynolds argued that both Pintarelli and his host, Connor Pope, who also had taken the potent hallucinogenic drug, were liable for the loss of his baseball career.

The right-hander had broken his pitching hand in the punch to defend his home, and testified at trial that the hand injury cost him the ability to make the baseball move and to control it.

“The biggest problem was that I broke my index finger knuckle, the most important finger for throwing the ball,” Reynolds said. “It affected all my pitches.”

The San Diego Padres signed Reynolds to a minor league contract on Feb. 19, 2016, but released him three months later.

Lawyer Daniel Himmelhaber, who represented Pintarelli, was not immediately available for comment. Attorney Dewey Wheeler, who represented Pope, said he was not authorized to comment.

McCarthy said Reynolds was “quite happy with the jury’s verdict,” which included $300,000 for Reynolds’ wife, for pain and suffering from being terrorized by the incident.

“She testified that to this day, she is scared of strangers,” McCarthy said... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)

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