Robber hits Pittsburgh hotel room of Cincinnati Reds pitcher
May 30, 2012 6:09 PM
By Sadie Gurman Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh police are investigating a robbery late Tuesday in the Downtown hotel room of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman at the Omni William Penn.
Mr. Chapman was not present at the time because the Reds and Pirates were playing a game that started late because of a two-hour rain delay.
Officers who were dispatched to the hotel at about 10:12 p.m. found a 26-year-old woman tied up and crying.
Security guards told officers that they were alerted by two guests who heard a woman screaming for help.
The guests, who were staying in a room on the same floor, went into the hallway to see what was going on saw the woman inside an open room with her hands bound by cloth napkins, police spokeswoman Diane Richard wrote in a news release.
The woman, identified by police as Claudia Manrique, of Silver Spring, Md., According to the police department news release, she was "the hotel guest of a male who attended the Pirates baseball game and who was not present at the time of the incident. During this incident the male guest had various items taken and was later interviewed by detectives," the news release said.
The woman, who was taken to UPMC Mercy, told police she answered a knock at the door to find a man claiming to be from the hotel's maintenance department, there to fix a toilet.
The woman opened the door and the man entered and demanded various items from the room, police said. When the woman refused, she said, he tied her up and took jewelry, clothing, a computer, credit cards and ID cards, the news release said.
Reds' spokesman Rob Butcher said in an e-mail that "we are aware of the hotel room robbery of one of our players and we are working with local law enforcement agencies. Because it is an active police investigation, we have no other comment at this time."
Bob Page, director of marketing for the William Penn, said hotel staff are cooperating with the police investigation and will share surveillance footage from the hotels security cameras. He said police don't believe the intruder was actually a hotel maintenance worker.
Mr. Page said the hotel has "stringent" security measures that include guards who do foot patrols. Occasionally a visiting sports team will ask for the presence of an off-duty uniformed city police officer, but he did not believe that was the case on Tuesday night.
The hotel's security is bolstered when sports teams visit, he added, particularly when teams are going to and from games.
Mr. Chapman, a 24-year-old left-handed pitcher, defected from Cuba in 2009. He left his hotel while playing in a tournament in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and established residency in Andorra so he could become a free agent rather than enter Major League Baseball's amateur draft.
In January 2010, he signed a six-year, $30.25 million contract with the Reds.
Mr. Chapman, who can throw his fastball in excess of 100 miles per hour, made two starts for the Cuban national team during the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He has been one of baseball's best relief pitchers this season, striking out 44 batters in 26 innings for the Reds entering Wednesday night's game.
The Pirates and the Reds play the final game of a three-game series tonight at PNC Park.