Ex-MLB player accused of slapping pregnant ex

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Elijah Dukes began his career with the Tampa Bay Rays and was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2008...

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Former major league outfielder Elijah Dukes was being held in a Florida jail on Thursday after his pregnant ex-girlfriend accused him of slapping her in the face during an argument, authorities said.

Hillsborough County Jail records show Dukes, 26, was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and driving with a revoked or suspended license. He also had been wanted on a contempt of court warrant. He was being held without bond.

A sheriff’s office report said Mountrail Mounshay Mack told deputies she and Dukes had been staying in motels for days. She said the two were arguing Wednesday when Dukes slapped her several times in the face, according to the report.

Dukes then went to his mother’s house, where he was arrested without incident, the report said.

Dukes began his career with the Tampa Bay Rays and was traded to the Washington Nationals in 2008. He was released before the 2010 season, even though he was projected to be the starting right fielder. Nationals officials said it was a baseball decision.

Dukes signed last June with the independent Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.

Jail records did not indicate if Dukes had an attorney. Tampa attorney Grady Irvin Jr. said he no longer represents Dukes.

Dukes appeared in 280 games over three seasons for the Rays and Nationals, batting .242 with 31 homers and 123 RBIs.

Dukes has had numerous problems on and off the field.

During his time in Tampa Bay’s organization, he was suspended both in the majors and the minors for various confrontations with umpires, coaches and teammates.

In 2007, Dukes was suspended after his estranged wife accused him of threatening her and their children. She sought court protection after revealing she received a threatening message on her cell phone, as well as a text message containing a picture of a handgun. She also said Dukes threatened her at the middle school where she was a teacher.

In November of last year, he was jailed on a contempt of court charge that authorities said was related to his failure to pay child support.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.