Sellers: Winter arrest was a 'misunderstanding'
Frustrated by ordeal, Dodgers infielder attempting to get charges dismissed
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers infielder Justin Sellers gave his side of the story on a winter arrest for misdemeanor reckless driving and resisting arrest on a motorcycle, calling the episode a "misunderstanding."
Sellers, 26, said he attended a police ridealong on a Thursday after an invitation from an officer friend. Two days later, he was riding his dirt bike on a trail in an open field adjacent to his West Sacramento home when a trailing patrol car flashed its red lights. Sellers continued to his house, where he was placed under arrest, then was jailed for five hours.
"I was scared, of course," Sellers said of the arrest. "There were three other riders on the trail at the same time. I don't want to sound like I was singled out. But at the time I was pulled over, I was doing nothing wrong. It's a big misunderstanding. There weren't any pedestrians anywhere. They did me wrong.
"I didn't mean to bring negative attention to the Dodgers. They made it seem I was on a wild chase. Not once did I accelerate and speed away."
Sellers said that during the ridealong, several officers teased him about being a Dodgers player in a town of predominantly Giants fans, and he said he believed at the time that the "traffic stop" was likely a prank, based on officer joking during the ridealong.
"I saw the same [arresting] cop on the ridealong, and I went from sitting in the front of a cop car on a ridealong to two days later in back of the cop car for doing something I shouldn't be in the cop car for," he said. "They had made sure I knew that they knew I was a ballplayer and that I was in Giants country, but I never thought in a million years I'd be in trouble for something like that.
"I have the utmost respect for police officers and what they do. It's a very frustrating situation for me and my family. I didn't know exactly what I did wrong."
Sellers said he's been riding cycles since he was 6 years old. He said he would be represented by an attorney at a March court date if current efforts to have the charges dismissed fail.
Sellers made the Opening Day roster last year, but he injured his back in May making a spectacular diving catch into the stands and required season-ending back surgery in August.
With Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto and Juan Uribe earning guaranteed money as utility players, Sellers figures as a long shot to make the Opening Day roster.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.