Rays' Bush charged in DUI hit-and-run

Alcohol allegedly a factor in traffic accident with motorcyclist

By David Heck / Special to MLB.com | March 22, 2012 9:53 PM ET

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Bush was arrested Thursday after an alleged DUI hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a 72-year-old motorcyclist, according to the Charlotte Sun.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Bush was driving a Dodge SUV south on U.S. 41 in Port Charlotte, Fla. just after 5 p.m. ET when he allegedly struck the motorcycle ridden by Tufano, 72. According to the FHP report, Bush left the scene by driving south on U.S. 41 before turning around and driving north.

An alert was released for Bush's vehicle, and he was eventually taken into custody in North Port, according to the Sun. The FHP report alleges that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The Sun reported that Bush was booked into the Charlotte County Jail on charges of DUI with serious injuries, DUI with property damage, fleeing the scene of an accident with serious injuries and driving with a suspended or revoked license involving an accident with serious injuries.

Tufano reportedly was taken to Peace River Regional Medical Center in Port Charlotte and then transported by helicopter to the Lee Memorial Hospital Trauma Center in Fort Myers.

The first overall pick by the Padres in 2004, Bush's career has been derailed repeatedly by off-the-field behavior. He was suspended before he ever played in a pro game, as he reportedly was involved in a fight at an Arizona nightclub just weeks after the Draft.

Bush also was purported to have been involved in a fight near an Arizona pub in 2008. One year later, he allegedly took part in a drunken assault on a high school campus before being designated for assignment by the Padres. Bush was traded Toronto but was soon released outright, as he failed to comply with the Blue Jays' "zero tolerance" behavioral policy. He did not play in any pro games during the '08 or '09 seasons.

Originally drafted as a shortstop, Bush struggled to hit and was converted to a pitcher in June 2007. He has been with the Rays for the past two seasons, posting a 3.29 ERA across two levels in '10 and a 4.83 ERA at Double-A in '11. The team invited Bush to big league camp this year, and he tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings before being sent down Sunday.

David Heck is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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