A Major League Baseball player from Lexington who is currently with the Cleveland Indians was arrested in Jessamine County on DUI charges Feb. 12.
Austin Kearns, 30, was taken to the Jessamine County Detention Center early Saturday morning, Feb. 12, after being stopped by an off-duty Lexington police officer, according to a Jessamine County sheriff’s report obtained by The Journal on Monday.
The Lexington officer said Kearns was “flashing his headlights and weaving on U.S. 68” in a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, according to the report. Kearns allegedly stopped the Escalade and then took off again, at which point the Lexington officer stopped the vehicle after receiving consent from Jessamine authorities.
Jessamine County sheriff’s deputy Todd Sponcil arrived on the scene on Golf Club Drive off U.S. 68 and approached Kearns, who told Sponcil that he had drank “a couple bourbon and cokes” at Harry’s Bar in Lexington, according to the report.
Kearns refused field sobriety tests and was “very unsteady on his feet,” according to the report. Sponcil wrote that Kearns “advised that he played professional baseball and asked if I could cut him a break.”
Kearns bonded out of the Jessamine County Detention Center later the same day after posting 10 percent of a $1,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Jessamine district court Thursday, March 10, at 9 a.m. Kearns told the media Tuesday morning his attorney would attend the hearing on his behalf.
Kearns went to high school at Lafayette High School in Lexington. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1998 and played in Cincinnati from 2002 to 2006. He split time between the Reds and the Washington Nationals during the 2006 season and played for the Nationals through 2009. He split time between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees last year before signing with the Indians during the offseason.
Kearns lives at 207 Eagle Drive in Nicholasville, according to the report, and also has a residence in Sarasota, Fla.
National media outlets reported Tuesday morning that the Indians were not aware of Kearns’ arrest prior to The Journal’s online report Monday. The Indians organization released a statement Tuesday morning saying they were “gathering facts and discussing the matter” with Kearns.
“The Indians’ organization takes these issues very seriously and is disappointed by the circumstances,” the statement read. “We will handle the matter internally and will not have any further comment until we have complete information about the incident and the legal process has run its course.”