Metro-East News

Lawsuit alleging Cardinals’ pitcher beat up man outside Sauget strip club is dismissed

A lawsuit filed against St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez has been dismissed by a federal judge.

The suit filed by Andrew F. D’Angelo alleged 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.

D’Angelo left the bar after the argument and went to Diamond Cabaret, a strip club in Sauget, the lawsuit said. The club was known as Penthouse Club at the time.

Martinez and his group eventually showed up at the same strip club, the suit alleged, unbeknownst to D’Angelo. D’Angelo said he walked out of the club and over to a food stand in the parking lot when the group followed him outside.

D’Angelo, who was with his friend Jake Ehlinger, alleged they were assaulted by Martinez, his friend Angel Perez, Taveras and outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who then played for the Florida Marlins.

According to D’Angelo’s lawsuit, Martinez committed assault, battery, civil conspiracy and in-concert liability. The lawsuit alleged Martinez specifically punched D’Angelo in the head and face.

A video of the incident, obtained and published on line by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, captured the altercation.

“We have an evidentiary godsend that clears things up,” Judge J. Phil Gilbert wrote in his ruling, which was issued Friday. “Someone pulls out their cell phone and starts recording. And it shows security guards holding Perez on the ground. It shows another guard holding back Ehlinger. And it shows Martinez approaching a few security guards to speak to them, and someone subsequently yells ‘let’s go’ in Spanish. The guards then release Perez, and everyone begins to disperse. This verifies what Martinez and the other eyewitnesses testified to: Perez and Ehlinger were the ones fighting, security guards pinned Perez down, and Martinez spoke to security guard holding Perez and convinced him to release him.”

Gilbert wrote in his ruling that there was no evidence that Martinez and the group he was with “conspired or planned to do harm to D’Angelo.”

“Instead, this was a plain old bar fight. And other courts agree that conspiracy claims stemming from brawls like this one should not pass the summary judgment stage — they are not conspiracies,” Gilbert wrote.

Attorney Jon Fetterolf represented Martinez in the case.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision granting our motion and dismissing all the claims in this lawsuit,” Fetterolf told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

D’Angelo’s attorney John Eccher wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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