Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Matt Bush charged with DUI, hit-and-run after crash injures motorcyclist
Posted Mar 22, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Mar 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM
Rays minor league pitcher Matt Bush was arrested Thursday night after a hit-and-run accident in Port Charlotte.
Bush was charged with fleeing the scene with serious injuries, driving with a suspended license with serious injuries, DUI with serious injuries and DUI with property damage. He was taken to the Charlotte County Jail.
Bush, who has been arrested several times early in his career for alcohol related incidents, struck motorcyclist Anthony Tufano, 72, of Port Charlotte, while driving a 2011 Dodge SUV on U.S. 41 in Port Charlotte late Thursday afternoon, according to a Florida Highway Patrol media release.
The report states Bush fled the scene and was arrested in North Port.
Tufano was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers where he was listed in serious condition.
“The Tampa Bay Rays organization is deeply saddened by (Thursday’s) tragic news. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and his family. We will reserve further comment until we learn more about the incident that took place,” the team said in a release.
The San Diego Padres selected Matt Bush with the first overall pick in the 2004 draft and signed him to a $3.15 million bonus. He was suspended that summer for his role in a fight at an Arizona night club.
He suffered a broken ankle in 2006 and missed all but 30 games.
In 2007, the Padres converted Bush to a pitcher and he suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery.
In February 2009, Bush admitted being drunk while assaulting a high school lacrosse player. The Padres traded him to Toronto. He was released that April from the Blue Jays minor league system for failing to comply with team guidelines.
That summer he was sentenced to 120 days at an alcohol rehabilitation center after pleading guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving involving alcohol, vandalism and resisting arrest.
“I had a serious off-the-field problem with alcohol,” he told MLB.com in 2011.
The Rays signed Bush as a free agent on Jan. 25, 2010, and say he has been a model player since joining the organization.
Early in camp, Rays manager Joe Maddon said Bush deserved a second chance because he was earning that chance.
“Here’s a guy that’s overcoming a lot of adversity, and he’s doing a great job with it,” Maddon said.