Metro-East News

Cardinals pitcher part of group that broke man’s back outside strip club, suit alleges

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez throws in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Cincinnati.
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez throws in the second inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Cincinnati. AP

A St. Louis Cardinals pitcher is facing allegations that he and a group of people jumped a man outside a strip club in 2014, according to a lawsuit filed in St. Clair County.

The suit filed by plaintiff Andrew D. D’Angelo alleges that he was drinking at a bar in St. Louis on July 4, 2014, when he had a verbal confrontation with a group of men, including St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez and late Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras.

The lawsuit states that D’Angelo left the bar after the fight and went to Diamond Cabaret, a strip club near East St. Louis. It was known as Penthouse Club at the time.

Martinez and his group eventually showed up at the same strip club, the suit alleges, unbeknownst to D’Angelo. D’Angelo alleges he walked out of the club and over to a food stand in the parking lot when the group followed him outside. At that point, according to the suit, they “jumped” D’Angelo, knocking him to the ground and beating him.

The lawsuit alleges Martinez specifically punched D’Angelo in the head and face.

A spokesman for Martinez did not immediately return a call for comment.

D’Angelo is represented by John Eccher, of St. Louis, and Edwardsville-based attorney Thomas Lech.

According to an email from Eccher, the alleged attack “resulted in Andy suffering a broken back and nearly $100,000 in medical bills, with further surgical procedures being needed.”

Eccher said it’s unfortunate that Martinez, “a role model to our children both in St. Louis and worldwide, made the decision to participate in this planned attack rather than taking any step to prevent it.”

“We hope that this lawsuit, in addition to obtaining justice for Andy, may help raise awareness of the importance of standing up for what is right rather than planning and/or participating in what is wrong, particularly when it so severely harms another human being,” Eccher wrote.

The suit also accuses IRC L.P., the Colorado-based company which owns Diamond Cabaret club, of negligence and liability.

According to the suit, the club failed to provide proper security near the food stand despite prior acts of violence that had occurred there. The club did not call the police until “well after” the attack had ended, the suit alleges.

IRC L.P. officials were not immediately available for comment.

“While we would have preferred to avoid litigation,” Eccher said, “the lack of acceptance of responsibility by culpable parties has required Tom Lech and myself to seek judicial intervention on behalf of Andy to obtain justice.”

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6

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