Bowden to contest DUI charge

GM Bowden to contest DUI charge

PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals general manager Jim Bowden was charged with driving under the influence early Monday morning in Miami Beach.

Bowden was in Miami for the Nationals' three-game weekend series against the Marlins, but he did not accompany the team to Philadelphia, where they are playing a three-game series against the Phillies.

Neither Bowden nor club president and CEO Tony Tavares were available for comment, but each issued a statement on Tuesday through the club.

"On Sunday evening in Miami Beach, Fla., I was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol," Bowden said in his statement. "I intend to plead not guilty at a future date in a Miami Dade court. I deeply regret any embarrassment that my arrest may cause the Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball.

"On the advice of legal counsel, I will have no further comment regarding this incident until the court proceedings are complete."

Tavares also issued a statement through the club.

"I have talked to Jim Bowden about the regrettable incident that took place Sunday night," Tavares said in the statement. "The Washington Nationals will monitor the situation as it works its way through the court system and will not make any comment or take any action until the legal issues are resolved."

According to a police report, Bowden was stopped at approximately 2:22 a.m. ET on Monday after he ran a red light at Ninth Street and Collins Avenue. He was stopped a few blocks later and the officer smelled alcohol from Bowden's breath. The police officer asked Bowden to take a sobriety test, and the officer felt that Bowden didn't perform the test to standard and was unable to drive his car. Bowden was then arrested.

Bowden was taken to the Miami Beach Police Department and was offered to take a breath test, but he declined. According to The Associated Press, Bowden's license was suspended.

According to another police report, Bowden was involved in a domestic dispute with his fiancée, Joy Browning around 2:10 a.m. on Monday. Two officers spotted them in a verbal argument. Bowden and Browning told the officers it was a misunderstanding and that the matter was resolved. After Bowden was arrested, one of the officers noticed that Bowden had a laceration on his right ear and scratches on his left cheek. A few minutes later, after Browning allegedly assaulted one of the officers, she was arrested.

Bowden's arrest comes in advance of Major League Baseball naming an owner for the Nationals in the near future. Asked if the incidents on Monday will hurt Bowden's chances of retaining his job once the new owners take over, a baseball source said, "If he is found guilty, it could have a severe impact on his career as a Washington National. If he's found innocent, there will be no impact."

Manager Frank Robinson and the Nationals players didn't know about Bowden's arrest until Tuesday afternoon.

Robinson said he intends to support Bowden during this tough time.

"It was an incredible incident," Robinson said. "I'm sure the players will support Jim like I do -- today and in the future on this thing."

Bowden has been the GM of the Nationals since Nov. 2, 2004, replacing Omar Minaya, who left to become the GM of the Mets. In Bowden's first season at the helm, the Nationals went 81-81.

Bowden is best known for his 10-plus years as GM of the Reds.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.