Former Ray Elijah Dukes arrested, accused of hitting pregnant ex-girlfriend

March 4th, 2011 by Staff

TAMPA — A former Tampa Bay Rays player is in trouble with the law yet again.

Elijah Dukes, 26, was arrested Wednesday and accused of hitting his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

The 20-year-old woman told police she and Dukes were at a motel arguing over money when things turned violent. The woman, who is five months pregnant, said Dukes slapped her several times in the face.

She said the baby is his, but according to Dukes’ sister, that’s not possible.

“My brother can’t have kids anymore,” said Katrina Evans. “He’s fixed.”

Evans said he had so much talent that went to waste.

“My brother has no where to stay, no income to show for what he did, my mother is still in the hood,” she said. “He tried, but not hard enough.”

Dukes’ mother, Phyllis, raised him and his five siblings on her own. Duke’s father was sent to prison for 2nd degree murder.

Phyllis Dukes said his problem with anger stems from his father’s incarceration. When his dad finally got out of prison after 14 years, he was reunited with his son only to die of cancer less than a month later.

“Elijah said how he never got a chance to see me play. He didn’t want to play baseball after that. It really killed him. He went into a shell,” she said.

The woman who accused Dukes of slapping her was not significantly hurt. However, because she is pregnant, Dukes is charged with a felony offense. He was also arrested on warrants for contempt of court and driving with a suspended license.

Problems on and off the field
During his time in Tampa Bay’s organization, Dukes 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.

Career
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.

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


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