Red Sox pitcher facing DUI charges after pursuit

John Drake Britton

John Drake Britton

Video from NBC-2

— A pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization was arrested Saturday on DUI charges after authorities say he led Lee County sheriff’s deputies on a chase at over 100 mph.

Around 4:45 a.m., deputies clocked a Chevrolet Silverado going 76 mph in a 45 mph zone on Estero Parkway. The driver, later identified as John Drake Britton, 23, of Magnolia, Texas, continued toward Three Oaks Parkway and crossed a bridge over Interstate 75, reaching speeds of up to 111 mph, according to an arrest report.

A deputy following Britton activated his lights and began to follow the Silverado.

Britton did not stop. Instead, he continued down Estero Parkway toward Ben Hill Griffin Parkway and crossed the intersection, reports said. He jumped a curb, drove down a small decline and powered through a barbed wire fence. Britton continued for another quarter of a mile down a dirt road, according to the arrest report.

When he finally stopped, Britton put his hands out the window and had a “dazed look on his face,” according to the arrest report. The arresting deputy also said Britton had “slurred speech” and “ bloodshot watery eyes.” When the deputy asked for Britton’s license, reports say he first handed over his debit card.

When asked if he had been drinking, Britton said “yes, I have been.”

Britton is facing charges of DUI, DUI property damage and reckless driving. He posted bond, which was set at $2,250 for all three charges, about six hours after the arrest.

“This is a matter that the Red Sox take very seriously, and it is being addressed,” the team said in a prepared statement. “The club will not make further comment on this matter.”

Britton was scheduled to pitch in Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees. He was scratched after the team learned of the arrest. He was designated for assignment on Monday.

A 23rd round draft pick by Boston in 2007, Britton was in his first big league camp with the Red Sox after going 4-7 with a 3.72 ERA with Portland, the team’s Double-A affiliate.

Britton is not the first professional baseball player to land behind bars during spring training in Southwest Florida.

Last March, Matt Bush, a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Rays system, was arrested in Charlotte County on DUI charges after Florida Highway Patrol troopers said he struck a motorcycle and fled the scene. He pled no contest and was sentenced to a 51-month prison sentence.

The day after Bush’s arrest, Bobby Jenks, a pitcher with the Red Sox at the time, was arrested on reckless driving and hit-and-run charges after leaving a Fort Myers strip club. He was adjudicated guilty.

In March 2006, Francisco Liriano, a pitcher with the Minnesota Twins at the time, was arrested on a DUI charge in Cape Coral. He was adjudicated guilty.

Multimedia sports reporter Scott Butherus contributed to this story.

© 2013 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 13

cozyboy writes:

Oh heck he's a baseball player no big deal he'll pay a fine.

angrytxpyr writes:

Our Governor, Icky Rick Scott wants to set aside even more TAXPAYER money than we already shell out to keep these spoiled rotten babies here in the State so they can act like this!!!!

Yup this is just one guy but there's a whole dugout full of them just waiting their turn to make headlines.

If the kid isn't sent packing then maybe the team should be. They can take their spring training crap with them.

How long before that shiny new stadium is paid off??? How much do TAXPAYERS have to shell out every year just to have them in town???

It seems as though its just a big money shuffling scam to me with team owners, some players and a bunch of politicians and Bureaucrats getting very wealthy.

DinNaples writes:

Funny, Sundays game was against the Yankees. He didn't pitch then either.

Naplestango writes:

Golly gee...I wonder what his Mom is going to say?

Niki_6 writes:

They make enough dammn money to take a cab, but are constantly dumb enough not to. Seems to me the organizations should make the players contractually obligated to NOT d&d under a morals clause.

Spock_is_logical writes:

Happens every year when these idiot jocks are in town.

muleman1 writes:

Charge all damages back to the stinky sox!

bunch of scrubs any way!

WeThePeople2016 writes:

in response to cozyboy:

Oh heck he's a baseball player no big deal he'll pay a fine.

He WAS a baseball player

Boharary writes:

in response to WeThePeople2016:

He WAS a baseball player

He still is he was just designated for assignment which means he was sent back to the minor league club earlier than he was expecting. He will be back next season.

SandnSurf writes:

Why no felony fleeing and eluding charge???

cs84 writes:

I guess Beckett didn't teach him everything. He stopped after drinking in the clubhouse. He was looking for a KFC, I guess.

WeThePeople2016 writes:

in response to cs84:

I guess Beckett didn't teach him everything. He stopped after drinking in the clubhouse. He was looking for a KFC, I guess.

He's a Texas boy like Beckett--doesn't need the teaching---yes, designated for assignment--been in the minors since 2007---not looking to see him in the majors soon

ChiDem writes:

in response to TroutNoDoubt:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If it did, Sox would hire a chauffeur for him.

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